Matthias Platzeck: «I’m not ready to deny human rights for dialog»
Minister-President of Federal State Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck is making a visit to Belarus. The German politician had an appointment with Belarusian Prime Minister Siarhei Sidorski and took part in the second dispute in memory of Johannes Rau, organized by Minsk International Educational Center.
The Belarusian authorities name the visit of Platzeck the example of establishing the relation between Minsk and Europe. But indeed, the German politician said about the purposes of his visit to Minsk: ”My visit can’t be regarded as the beginning of the political dialog. The dialog means not only gaining own points, but also respect for the partner. But for a dialog I can’t deny the things that are important for me, - for example, human rights. I came to policy from the human rights movement of GDR and I understand we can speak about development only when the society is open and state is based on laws”, - Matthias Platzeck declared.
In the debates taken place 22 October in Minsk International Educational Center besides the authorities’ representatives, the civil society representatives including Andrei Sannikov, Mikhail Marynich, Mikola Statkevich, Anatol Liabedzka, Siarhei Skrabets, Aliaksandr Yarashuk side took place from the Belarusian.
Andrei Sannikov, international coordinator of Charter’97 said what was the purpose of federal state Brandenburg Minister-President‘s visit:
”The visit was rather interesting, as Brandenburg Minister-President spoke about the transformation experience on the example of his federal state. It was a new state organized after the reunification Germany, but it was situated in East Germany. The experience of the transformation is interesting because the state was being created in the structure of another country – FRG. Brandenburg had to create new laws, live according to new economic and political rules. The successes and difficulties of Brandenburg development are connected with it. But Minister-President said the majority of the Germans living in this state are satisfied with their life”, - Andrei Sannikov said to Charter’97 press center.
In general, Sannikov thinks, the experience of such transformations is very useful for Belarus. ”But in contrast to Brandenburg, Belarus to a large extent itself will determine the most suitable conditions when moving towards Europe. In other words, there are special criteria of the membership in the EU, but every state that goes on the way of integration with Europe, brings in its peculiarities and is able to defend its interests”, - the diplomat says.
According to Sannikov, Brandenburg Minister-President didn’t avoid the questions of the today’s situation in Belarus and spoke directly about the conditions of any dialog that include first of all observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. He also spoke about freedom of mass media, political prisoners, and about the necessity of developed civil society for any state.
”Undoubtedly, Platzeck’s visit has political overtone. Germany has been seriously interested in Belarus for a long time. The Belarusian authorities hope to make a way to Europe with the help of Germany. But the action doesn’t go further the official Minsk promises to improve the situation with human rights. That’s why the European politicians made sure again who is hindering the improvement of Belarus - the EU relations”, - Andrei Sannikov noted.