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MINSK, April 16 (Itar-Tass) — Normalization of relations between Belarus and the European Union is possible only through a dialogue, Belarussian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said on Monday.
He made comments on a statement of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in relation to the release of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and coordinator of the opposition movement European Belarus Dmitry Bondarenko.
“We would like to hope that this fact reflects the understanding that real compromise and dialogue are possible only at the negotiating table in a calm, respectful and constructive atmosphere,” Savinykh said adding that “this is the principal position of the Belarussian side.”
The spokesman underlined that it is extremely important “for the statements made public to be translated into practical deeds.” “In this case we will be able to deescalate our relations.”
Savinykh noted that “all processes in Belarus are carried out in strict compliance with Belarus’ legislation, there can be no adjustment to external pressure, most probably, on the contrary – it may only hamper the development of the situation.”
The EU welcomed the release of two opposition leaders in Belarus last weekend and called on Minsk to free other political prisoners.