Javier Solana (file photo) (epa)
BRUSSELS, March 8, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The EU foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, says he sees the possibility of what he calls an "opening" in EU-Belarusian relations.
Solana said exploratory contacts are now under way in Minsk between a team of EU diplomats and the Belarusian
Solana said he is optimistic that the contacts could produce a thaw in relations between Brussels and Belarus -- which have been frozen for years as a result of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's authoritarian policies.
"We think that we have -- probably -- some possibilities of doing or opening some relationship with Lukashenka, with Belarus," Solana said today.
The EU policy chief says the results of the EU's diplomatic mission to Minsk will be analyzed during the coming weekend.
Meanwhile, an EU official who asked not to be named said the EU delegation also will meet representatives of political opposition groups in Minsk.
The official said that visit was agreed after contacts were renewed between Solana and the Belarusian foreign minister.