Sergei Martynov, responding to reporters' questions in Brussels on January 12, raised the issue of the possible EU imposition of sanctions against Belarus. "We hope that the EU will not take irreversible decisions while considering this issue. We hope that this decision won't close the door to the balanced Belarusian foreign policy with its two major neighbors - Russia and the EU," he said.
«We believe that the decision of the EU, whatever it may be, will not hinder the process of the Belarusian economy and society development,» said Sergei Martynov, Wiadomosci24.pl.
The Minister said that he’d come to Brussels to «describe the real course of events of December 19.» «I advise Mr Buzek (Chairman of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek — Telegraf), as well as the media and other politicians, to become well-awared of the events in Belarus. I must draw attention to the fact that the force was applied only in response to violence of protesters,» the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
He also stressed that the Belarusian authorities «hadn’t used excessive force» against protesters: either tear gas, or rubber bullets, or water cannons, or dogs. «But all of these measures have been actively taken by the police in European capitals in recent months. Thus, the Belarusian police are much more restrained and reasonable towards the demonstrators,» Sergei Martynov said.
Arrested for Protests are at Large, Martynov
Asked about the possibility of release of the detained Belarusian opposition, the foreign minister said that Belarus, as other countries, had legal procedures. «Arrested people are under investigation. When the investigation is over, they will be judged in court, if such cases are. The executive branch has no influence on this legal process,» Sergei Martynov said.
However, he stressed that the detainees «for participation in the events» were already at large.
According to Telegraf, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, met with the Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Martynov in Brussels. During the conversation, she stressed that the EU condemned the violent crackdown on demonstrators, numerous arrests and harassment of opposition members in the elections’ aftermath.
«Catherine Ashton insisted on immediate release of all political detainees and the immediate cessation of persecution of the opposition, representatives of democratic forces and civil society,» told a European Union mission in Belarus.