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Belarus Opposition Calls Minsk EU Envoy's Letter 'Hysteria'

MINSK -- Anatol Lyabedzka, the head of Belarus's opposition United Civic Party, says a recent letter to the European Union's leadership from the Belarusian ambassador is an example of "political blackmail" and "hysteria," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

A similar opinion was expressed by Ales Lahvinets from the opposition For Freedom movement, who told RFE/RL the official Minsk letter "raises hysteria and pins unnecessary labels on its partners."

Lyabedzka and Lahvinets were commenting on Uladzimir Syanko's letter, published on, in which Minsk's envoy accused the EU of "political extremism" with regard to Belarus.

In particular, Syanko condemned the European Parliament for inviting to the Euronest -- the parliamentary assembly for the countries of the EU's Eastern Partnership program -- representatives of Belarus's opposition and civil society instead of lawmakers from Belarus's Chamber of Representatives.

The European Parliament does not maintain official relations with Belarus's legislature because it says the 2008 parliamentary elections in the country were neither democratic nor fair.

The European Union has voiced "grave concern" at Belarus's crackdown on democratic groups ahead of local elections on April 25, according to dpa.

Belarus is a member of the EU's "Eastern Partnership," a program that currently offers six former Soviet states trade and travel liberalization in return for economic and political reforms.