Belarusian president welcomes Eastern Partnership prospects

08-05-2009

Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko has told reporters he is pleased with prospects offered by the Eastern Partnership summit, held in Prague on Thursday by the EU and the Czech EU presidency. He made the comment even though he himself did not attend. Mr Lukashenko had been given an invitation for Belarus, along with representatives from five other former Soviet-bloc countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), but opted to send a deputy prime minister in his stead. The leader’s human rights record has put him at odds with individual EU member states. The Czech president, Václav Klaus, had also warned in advance if Mr Lukashenko arrived in Prague, he would not be received at Prague Castle.