Poland against EU sanctions for Belarus

March 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM

BRUSSELS, March 16 (UPI) -- Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski says his country supports a suspension of sanctions against Belarus imposed by the European Union.

Speaking before EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Sikorski said representatives of Belarusian authorities should not face visa sanctions by the European Union for a six-month period, Radio Poland said Monday.

"We don't see a reason to toughen our stand towards Belarus," Sikorski said.

The Polish official said EU officials should be attempting to strengthen EU-Belarus ties, while also ensuring ethnic minorities in Belarus receive fair treatment.

Radio Poland said the administration of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has offered the international community some positive political signals regarding a shift in Belarus policy.

Lukashenko has begun welcoming opposition leaders into advisory councils and has allowed the publication of certain opposition dailies.

Despite such a change in policy, EU officials have been disappointed with the progression of diplomacy between their organization and Belarus since the two sides resumed talks last October, Radio Poland said.

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