Rodolphe Richard, head of the Political, Press and Information Section at the European Union’s Delegation to Belarus, met with people in Homiel on Thursday on the initiative of European Club.
Mr. Richard spoke about relations between Belarus and the EU, in particular the reasons for problems in political relations. According to him, the EU has always supported civil society in Belarus and participated in the implementation of a number of important projects, including those dealing with the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and the rehabilitation of contaminated areas. The 27-nation bloc’s assistance to civil society in Belarus is expected to total some 19 million euros between 2011 and 2013, he said.
The Belarusian authorities are also interested in cooperation with the EU, including in joint green economy projects, Mr. Richard said.
Under discussion was a wide range of matters, from the European Union’s sanctions targeting Belarusian government officials and businesses to problems in the perception of the common history.
European Club in Homiel seeks to provide people with more information about the European Union through meetings with EU citizens, from ordinary students to prominent cultural and public figures.