European Parliament’s resolution causes regret among Belarusian parliamentarians

Joint statement by Presidium of the Council of the Republic and the Council of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly is passed in response to European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus, stating that the European Parliament, as a representative body, should not initiate confrontation between the European Union and its neighbours

The statement comments: ‘The resolution of the European Parliament, of January 20th, 2011, has caused deep regret among Belarusian parliamentarians, showing once again that the European Parliament ignores objective facts when creating its stance towards the Republic of Belarus’. Belarusian MPs stress that the presidential elections in Belarus were conducted in strict accordance with national legislation and, accordingly, their results are undisputed, reflecting the will of the Belarusian people. Any speculation on the issue is groundless and unacceptable.

It continues: ‘It is regrettable that, rather than giving a thorough evaluation of the events seen in Minsk late on December 19th, 2010, looking at the cause, some western colleagues ignored facts and reality, giving an emotional criticism of the action taken by the state’. Belarus’ parliamentarians argue that law enforcement officers ‘exercised maximum restraint and did not interfere with the unsanctioned rally until its leaders and participants turned openly violent’. The statement adds: ‘The actions of law enforcement officers were lawful and proportionate to the force of provocation from protesters. It is known that ‘dialogue’ between the police and demonstrators in many EU countries is far less restrained, with a whole arsenal of special equipment used in ‘argument’. We’d like to hope that, one day, the European Parliament will abandon its double standards.’

The MPs believe that the character and the tone adopted by the European Parliament resolution demonstrate that ‘common sense, unfortunately, has once again been sacrificed to emotions, and dialogue to pressure’. Of course, it has long been evident that using the language of ultimatum with a sovereign state is futile and unlikely to meet the interests of the EU.

However, the National Assembly reaffirms its willingness ‘to engage in constructive dialogue with international parliamentary organisations and national parliaments of foreign countries, based solely on mutual respect and equality’. The statement notes: ‘Mutual understanding and co-operation, rather than restrictive measures, will be true and reliable instruments in solving problems’.

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