A group of political leaders and civic activists from Belarus presented their joint appeal to the European institutions before the Riga Summit and shared their views on the current political developments in a meeting with the EPP leadership.

EPP President Joseph Daul, EPP Vice-President and Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, together with the Vice-Chair of the EPP Group Sandra Kalniete, welcomed the delegation from Belarus ahead of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga.

The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Belarus were discussed at the meeting, with the EPP leadership urging the Belarus opposition to stay united ahead of the vote.

The party also expressed solidarity with the Belarus opposition. The EPP EaP summit Declaration proposed “to initiate a dialogue format for EU-Belorussian relations with the participation of representatives of democratic organisations and the political opposition in Belarus”.

However, the precondition for such a dialogue with the involvement of the Belarus authorities would be to release all political prisoners and to hold free and fair elections.

The leaders of the EPP political family from the EU and partner countries in their Declaration for the EU’s EaP Riga Summit stated:

The end of the persecution of journalists, the freeing of political prisoners, the registration of public associations and political parties, the holding of free and fair elections and the admission of the opposition to the state media can contribute to national dialogue and compromise.”

Meeting participants from Belarus included:
Alaksiej JANUKIEVICH, Chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front (EPP Observer)
Tatiana KARATKIEVICH, Tell the Truth Campaign / BSDP Hramada
Anatol LIABEDZKA, Chairman of the United Civic Party of Belarus (EPP Observer)
Alaksandr MILINKIEVIČ, Chairman of the Movement for Freedom (EPP counterpart)
Vital RYMASHEUSKI, Co-Chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy