ForMin Baconschi: Romania to make EUR 100,000 donation to support Belarus civil society

Romania will donate 100,000 euros to support the civil society in Belarus; the funds will be allocated from the Foreign Ministry's budget for development assistance, Romanian chief diplomat Teodor Baconschi declared on Wednesday for Agerpres while attending in Warsaw the international conference of donors for Belarus.

'The Eastern Partnership is among our foreign policy priorities, and any action that envisages the eastern borders of the EU is important for Romania too,' said Minister Baconschi, explaining the reason why Romania was represented at the event just like Poland, Sweden and Estonia, at the level of head of diplomacy.

Baconschi also mentioned that decisions were adopted at the EU General Affairs Council on Monday, January 31, to support the civil society in Belarus and that Romania acts in full compliance with these decisions and does nothing else but express solidarity with all democratic forces in Belarus.

According to Minister Baconschi, the bulk of the 100,000 euros donated by Romania will be managed by European Commission bodies for organizing academic mobility programs, scholarships, training for representatives of Belarus civil society organizations. Moreover, members of non-governmental human rights organizations in Belarus will be invited to Bucharest as part of the specific actions organized by MAE under the aegis of the Black Sea Forum.

On the other hand, the Romanian ForMin announced that the Belarus chargŠ d'affaires to Bucharest Sergey Molunov would be summoned to the seat of the Romanian Foreign Ministry; Molunov on Wednesday openly criticized in a press conference Romania's decision to participate in the conference organized in Warsaw, terming it as an 'unfriendly' gesture towards Minsk, which could result in a worsening of bilateral relations, inclusively. 'This manifestation of the Belarus chargŠ d'affaires exceeds the normal limits of diplomacy,' said Minister Baconschi.

Belarus considers Romania's participation at the Conference of Donors as an unfriendly gesture

Belarus chargŠ d'affaires to Bucharest Sergei Molunov criticised Romania's decision to take part in the Conference of Donors for Belarus, appreciating that it is an unfriendly gesture through which Bucharest takes the responsibility for a possible worsening of bilateral relations.

" You probably know that in Warsow there is the conference of donors for Belarus, which is attended by the Romanian minister of foreign affairs Teodor Baconschi. The purpose of this conference is to raise money to finance the opposition in Belarus. I don't know, maybe in Romania everything is alright, so that Romania can offer money to finance the Belarus opposition. But I don't think the Belarus opposition who, on the money of Romanian taxpayers could ensure their life, will rest in different resorts,I don't think they will thank the Romanian people for this financing > the affairs attache said yesterday in a press conference.

He added that Belarus observes the decision to take part in the conference but they consider it as an unfriendly gesture.

" We respect Romania's decision and their participation in this conference. This is Romania's choice, but officially I want to say that the Belarus part considers participation in this conference as an unfriendly gesture in the relation with Belarus. And by taking part in this conference, Romania takes part of the responsibility for the possible worsening in the bilateral relations > he said.

Asked if he used any official way to send the MFA the disatisfaction of Minsk against this participation, Molunov said that it is out of the question and that the Belarus party < is in favour of good neighbourhood relations with all the countries >.

At the same time, Molunov said that he hoped the visit of the Belarus minister of foreign affairs to Bucharest, programmed for this year take place and be an occasion for direct discussions.

The minister of foreign affairs Teodor Baconschi took part on Wednesday in the international conference of donors for Belarus,in Warsaw, MFA said. Romania joins the effort to assist together with the other donors in support of the civil society. MFA will continue to invite representatives of the civil society in Belarus to the NGOs Forum to the Black Sea, which is at its fourth edition, the source said.


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