Feb. 14th 2009 / Germany, Berlin:
I’ve got these news from the Federal Working Agency Chernobyl in Germany (web):
After months of worrying, Belarusian foreign minister Sergey Martynow met German foreign minister Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, on Feb. 10th 2009. Their meeting was about the relationship between both European countries and the Decree 555 (made in Oct. 2008 by Belarusian dictator Lukashenko).
This was the first bilateral meeting of this kind between both European countries in since 1995.
Belarus signed the IRENA foundation statute as the 76th country.
IRENA is the International Renewable Energy Agency
But at the same time, Belarus builds it’s first atomic power plant, see HERE
Belarus allowes Belarusian (Chernobyl affected) children to travel again.
The children traveling was stopped because of Lukashenko. He stopped it because a Belarusian girl had not returned in 2008 from the recovery stay in the U.S.
Belarus is the most Chernobyl affected country in the world. More than 2,000,000 people are still living in contaminated areas in Belarus, Belarus got more than 70 % of the fallout from the explosion of the Russian reactor in 1986.
You can view German and Russian press text on the website of the “Auswärtige Amt Germany” (the central interface of the German diplomacy): HERE for information about the meeting
Learn more about it:
News of January 2009: Belarusian children allowed to travel till Jan 21st 2009
News of Oc. Nov. Dec. 2008: Belarusian children as hostages by Decree 555 of dictator Lukashenko
But remember Belarusian and German friends: Our fight for humanity and civil society will continue. We’ll keep a sharp eye on the developments, here and there.
And, there is also a Dutch Reaction on this subject:
Written question to the Committee of Ministers (EU)
Topic: Decree 555 of Belarus , the travel ban for Children from Chernobyl and Belarus
Since the Chernobyl disaster, many volunteers in European countries have given hundreds of thousands of children the possibility of a holiday with a guest family.
On 13th of October 2008 president Lukashenko published decree 555, which had entered into force a few months earlier, which made it nearly impossible for groups of children to travel abroad.
After much international pressure the ban was suspended for one month over the Christmas holiday. Due to late publication of this suspension, only a small number of children was able to spend time abroad over Christmas.
Since January 21 2009 the ban is fully in place again. Children are not allowed to travel unless the receiving country signs an extensive treaty, with an enormous number of guarantees by the receiving state. This stifles the work of NGO’s completely and makes exchanges completely impossible.
At the very same time Belarus is making a top priority of joining the Council of Europe. For this the Human Rights situation in Belarus should improve and part of this is the lifting of the travel ban.
- Does the Committee of Ministers agree that the restrictions in decree 555 are a violation of the right to travel freely (with parental consent) for Belarus children?
- Is the Committee of Ministers prepared to make a permanent repeal of decree 555 a precondition for a new dialogue with the Belarus government?
- By which other means will Committee of Ministers communicate to the Belarus authorities that they should revoke decree 555 and let these exchanges of children take place?
Dr. Omtzigt, EPP/CD, Netherlands
/ end of document
with kind regards,