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Minsk suffers from EU partiality in the Caucasus2009-02-27 10:11
The European Union recommends that Byelorussia keep from recognizing independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This suggestion was expressed at the EU Council meeting on Febryary 23 where participation in "Eastern partnership" scheme was promised to Minsk.
"In case of recognition Byelorussia will have very serious problems with participation in "Eastern Partnership" - Kommersant is quoting Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. - As it will find itself outside the European context".
This is it. In a straight and open way without any attempts to sound smoother Europe threw Minsk into a dilemma: either us or them. Until recently Lukashenko was quite good at balancing between Europe and Russia. It seems the time has come for Byelorussia to acquire its own political identity.
To go either to the East or to the West. On the one hand there are multibillion loans from Russia and on the other - cancellation of visa regime and creation of free trade zones with the European Union.
It is surprising that civilized Europe somehow ignores that recognition or non-recognition is a sovereign right of any state and any advice is out of place here. Sukhum and Moscow have already reacted to Schwarzenberg's statements.
"Czech Foreign Minister's position contradicts the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement signed following the August events in South Ossetia, - RIA Novosti are quoting the statement of the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry. - It also makes us consider the role of the European Union in the settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict as prejudiced and inappropriate".
Indeed what adequacy of the monitoring mission can there be if the EU initially takes the side of Georgia? Not only does Europe challenge the necessity of its involvement in the Caucasus settlement - it can nullify the success of the last round of the Geneva talks.
Moreover Moscow's relations with Brussels can be at stake. Yes, the EU expresses its intention to have normal relations with Russia. But after this kind of statements it is hard to believe. Moscow's reaction to the EU's tricks is reserved for now:
"We deal with quite explicit political pressure on a sovereign state, i.e. Byelorussia, - Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Interfax. - It is up to Minsk to decide how to react to this pressure.
Byelorussia seems to be deep in thought as well as the politologists. Though there are only two options.