Schwarzenberg to visit Belarus on Thursday

The outgoing Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is to visit Belarus on Thursday, it has been announced. According to the ministry, this will be the first time a Czech foreign minister has ever visited the ex-Soviet country. It is thought that Mr Schwarzenberg is visiting the country to discuss the EU’s Eastern Partnership scheme, which has been championed by the Czechs during their EU presidency, and which will be unveiled formally in Prague on May 7. Belarus is one of six former Soviet states to be involved in the programme, alongside Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but it is not yet certain whether Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko will be invited to Prague to launch the scheme next month. The European Commission has recommended that a decision on Mr Lukashenko’s attendance of the event be postponed until the last minute.

Author: Rosie Johnston