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Belarus opposition activist: Minsk, EU will look for dialogue

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April 18, 2012, 5:08 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine
Belarus and the European Union are willing to allay tensions and will continue looking for common ground for dialogue despite an exchange of different statements, which have not always been received positively by each other, leader of the Belarusian For Freedom opposition movement Alexander Milinkevich told Interfax. "If one follows the logic of moving away from this confrontation, it is quite realistic that the EU will not continue tightening its sanctions, and we should not expect the inclusion of new names in the travel ban list," he said.

"Minsk has already taken a step [the release of opposition leaders Andrei Sannikov and Dmitry Bondarenko], and it is quite logical that the EU has suspended the process of expanding sanctions," Milinkevich said.

However, "a chance to lift the existing sanctions is absent today," he said.

"Full-fledged dialogue will be possible in the political sphere and economic cooperation only after political prisoners are freed," he said.

It is difficult to expect any full-fledged dialogue between Minsk and Brussels in the short-term prospect, "but talks will be held to lay the groundwork for this dialogue," the opposition activist said.
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