Valery Karbalevich: “Relations with Europe will be “frozen”
Negotiations of the deputies of European Parliament and official Minsk about participation of the Belarusian delegation in the new interparliamentary association “Euronest” collapsed. The association was created for rapprochement of states-participants of the program “Eastern partnership” and European Union. Political analyst Valery KARBALIEVICH tells in the interview for www.Euramost.org that this situation won’t influence the relations of Europe and Belarus much, but this will probably put freeze on the relations themselves.
Let’s remind you that the position of European Union was as follows: Belarusian delegation in “Euronest” was to consist of five representatives from the ruling power and five – from opposition. But the official Minsk wasn't pleased with these demands. The answer was: only governmental representatives and no opposition. The chairman of the parliamentary commission of international affairs Sergey Maskievich even said that the conditions of European Parliament were humiliating. In his turn the chairman of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek warn that in the case Minsk doesn’t come to terms, opposition will get all the ten vacancies. It’s hard to forecast the format of “Euronest” now, because this matter still isn’t clenched yet, - says Valery Karbalievich. – But more probably the formula ten plus ten won’t do. So we can expect that in “Euronest” there will be either ten or five representatives of civil society of Belarus. And this is for the today’s situation. But everything can change. – Will the situation with “Euronest” do a power of good to Belarusian-European relations? Or vice versa? – I don’t think that this question will be essential for the development of the Belarusian-European relations, because this problem is more symbolic and political that real. Real influence of “Euronest” on any politics of European Union including “Eastern Partnership” is not significant. So this is more a symbolic act, though symbols are also important in politics. – Will it lead to exacerbation of relations within Belarus; will it lead to new repressions against opposition? – If repressions begin, it will be connected not with this matter but with the forthcoming presidential elections. – Are some principle positions and claims of European officials connected mostly with conflict about unrecognized by the authorities Union of Poles or are they worried about something else? – The conflict about Union of Poles became the accelerator which let to look wider at the situation in Belarus. It became a reason to understand that in Belarus there are facts which tell about strengthening of pressure on opposition and civil society. And I think while the presidential elections are not finished yet, Belarusian-European relations will be “frozen”. Presidential elections – it’s always a straightening of pressure on opponents. And it’s always negatively treated at the West. We can hardly speak about good fellowship, but the dialog won’t stop, though it will take place in a kind of conflict way. – Is it profitable for Russia? – In general, Russia isn’t exited about improving of Belarusian-European relations and treats it rather negatively than positively. But I don’t think that Russia will pay attention to it now. – Perhaps, Eastern vector will become more important for Belarus now? – We also don’t expect anything positive at the eastern vector so far if we judge by the events of Belarusian-Russian relations in Customs Union. That’s why Belarus will precede its politics of brinkmanship.