Sikorski warns Lukashenko - 'you're losing'

Poland's foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, sent a direct message to President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Wednesday - his future consists of having to flee his country to somewhere with even lower human rights standards than his own.

In a strongly-worded attack on the Belarusian head of state at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Warsaw today, Sikorski said:

"Mr President, you are losing [:] no one is ready to believe in an 80 percent election result. Your methods have no place in modern Europe. Sooner or later you will have to flee from your citizens and find shelter in a country which professes even lower standards than you do."

Over 600 opposition activists were arrested during and after a demonstration in Minsk which challenged the 19 December presidential election result, giving Lukashenko a just under 80 percent vote share.

The EU has a twin-track policy towards Belarus - with a travel ban for those associated with the Lukashenko administration as well as quadrupling financial assistance from 4 to 16 million euros, Stefan Fuele said today.

The commissioner announced that the aid will be directed at Belarusian NGOs, independent media and students.

The meeting in Warsaw on policy towards Belarus is being attended by foreign ministers from Estonia, Sweden and Romania, deputy heads of diplomacy of other EU states as well as representatives of the US State department.


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