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OSCE Warns Minsk of 'Tension' in Belarusian-EU Relations

Uta Zapf, the head of the working group on Belarus in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, said in a statement on 29 July that the closure of the European Humanities University may cause "tough tension" in Minsk's relations with Germany and the EU, Belapan reported.

The university, established in 1992, is the only private higher-educational institution in Belarus and is financed by Germany, France, the EU, and other private funds, Zapf said.

The closure is the result of "politically-motivated pressure," she said, and urged the Belarusian government to stop repressive measures and allow normal conditions for the university.

The same day Eberhard Heyken, head of the OSCE Office in Minsk, said that the closure "contradicts the basic principles of the OSCE, which is committed to international cooperation, academic freedom, and tolerance."

(RFE/RL 30.vii.04)

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