MEP Takes Hard Line Toward Belarus

Member of European Parliament Kristiina Ojuland took a uncompromising position toward Belarus and its authoritarian president, calling for diplomatic relations to be frozen.

"All relations with Belarusian authorities must be frozen until political prisoners have been released," Ojuland said in a statement from the Liberals and Democrats group that called the current regime "criminal".

Ojuland stressed that normalization of relations is possible only after the release of prisoners, investigations into the violence surrounding presidential elections and the holding of new elections.

"Until then, visa and economic sanctions must be levied," she said, calling for a comprehensive approach to the problem, including increased support for civic society and the free press; simplified visa requirements for citizens; and admission to EU countries' schools for students expelled from universities in Belarus due to political views.

Ojuland also ruled out cooperation with Belarus in the EU's Eastern Partnership program.


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