The Belarussian President has made his second trip to an EU country since the warming of relations with the West. Alexander Lukashenko is in Lithuania for a two-day visit.
Once described by US officials as “Europe’s last dictator”, Lukashenko said he wanted to be what he calls a good strategic partner with the European Union. But he warned that Belarus would not pushed into making reforms. He said: “We try to create peaceful relations with our neighbours, and respect the rights of each nation to choose how they develop. We do not have any political or territorial claim on any other country.” Lithuania has told Lukashenko that he has to make progress on improving human rights and democracy, if he wants EU sanctions, currently suspended, to be completely lifted. Lukashenko has called on Brussels to cut the cost of visas for Belarussians and restore preferential trade tariffs.