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EU Official Says No ‘Zero-Sum Games’ With Belarus

Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Benita Ferrero-Waldner
MINSK -- The European Union's external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, has said Belarus does not need to choose between the European Union and Russia, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports.

Ferrero-Waldner, who is in Minsk on a one-day visit, participated in an online question-and-answer session with RFE/RL listeners and emphasized that “the EU does not play zero-sum games.”

“Belarus needs good relations with both” Russia and the EU, she said.

She added that Belarus has made “some positive steps” over the last year regarding human rights and democratic development that justified the country’s inclusion in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.

“I sincerely believe that engagement with the country is the best way forward,” she said. “But let’s be clear: participation in the bilateral track can only come when Belarus has convincingly demonstrated its commitment to progress on democracy and fundamental freedoms.”