OREANDA-NEWSPavel Jablonski (pictured), Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland, pointed out that threats of sanctions without offers of cooperation from the EU could push Belarus to strengthen cooperation with Russia.

He stated that the authorities of the European Union and its member countries should not only condemn the actions of the current leadership of Belarus, but also make it clear that Minsk has a chance to establish cooperation with Europe.

“By limiting ourselves to sanctions and not providing another perspective, we risk driving Belarus even further into the sphere of Russian influence. Belarusians should be able to choose their own path of development, our role is to offer them a real choice, ”explained Yablonski.

Jablonski also noted that “gestures are extremely important in politics,” and therefore Warsaw hopes that the EU countries will jointly condemn the violence in Belarus and electoral fraud and call for a new vote. However, the EU's proposals to resolve the conflict in the country, according to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland, should be supported by the opening for Minsk of a "real prospect" of cooperation with the EU, subject to the consent of the authorities to change their policy.

According to the deputy minister, a concrete proposal for cooperation between Belarus and Europe is the only way to induce official Minsk, and possibly Alexander Lukashenko himself, to start negotiations with the opposition.