Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn,
Minister of foreign affairs Urmas Paet stated that Estonia should base its policy towards Belarus on the protection of Estonian enterprises' business interests as well as on democratic values, writes LETA/Postimees Online.
The minister noted that he would not oppose these two aspects.
According to Paet, Estonia as well as the European Union have on one hand expressed their desire to see Belarus becoming an European country with the Rule of Law and with a democratic social order. "While there was hope in the meantime that it would slowly become a reality, the events of the past few months disrupted these hopes and hence the EU decided to impose the sanctions," he explained.
On the other hand, the minister remarked that the wish of Estonia as well as of the other countries is to strengthen the civic society in Belarus and in order to achieve that, there is need to establish grants programmes for students and to continue visa facilitation process.
As to the trade relations, Paet stated that the more Belarus is economically linked to Europe, the easier it would be to affect its openness and business culture.