René van der Linden welcomes EU Presidency’s change of heart on isolating Belarus

PACE President René van der Linden has welcomed the change of heart on Belarus by the EU Presidency, which said yesterday that its policy of isolating Belarus has not worked. "As I have said before, even if we have profound differences with Belarus – the only European country that does not merit membership of the Council of Europe – I believe the only way to improve things is through dialogue," said Mr van der Linden. "The Finnish Presidency of the 25-nation EU and the Russian Presidency of the 46-nation Council of Europe can work together to foster that dialogue. Furthermore, I am ready to go to Belarus if it will help this country on its path to democracy."