Baltics and Germany call on Belarus to release political prisoners

Baltics and Germany call on Ukraine to continue reforms and demand prisoner release in Belarus

During the meeting in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and German foreign ministers expressed support for the Eastern Partnership program aimed at bringing six post-Soviet countries closer to the EU. The programme is one of the priorities of the upcoming Lithuanian EU presidency, as writes. The meeting took place on June 21.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the ministers “expressed their commitment” to the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, provided that Ukrainian authorities take necessary steps demanded by the EU.

The EU calls Kiev to break with “selective judiciary system” – which is a term used to describe the persecution of the opposition and, above all, the arrest of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. As well as to eliminate drawbacks of the election process and implement other reforms defined by the agreed Association agenda.

“The Ministers acknowledged the progress that was being made by Ukraine so far and encouraged Ukraine to take further steps,” statement said..

The four ministers also agreed on “the need to maintain engagement with Belarus in the multilateral track of the Eastern Partnership.”

As it May be read in a statement: “It is reiterated that all political prisoners need to be released and rehabilitated in order to positively review EU policies with regard to Belarus.” The statement was signed by the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and German Foreign Ministers – Linas Linkevičius, Urmas Paet, Edgars Rinkevics and Guido Westerwelle.

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