Ambassador: France expects positive signals from Minsk

\"When I speak about these signals, I think everyone understands what I mean. If you look at Western newspapers issued in the last few months, you will see...

France expects positive signals and further steps forward from the Belarusian authorities, Ambassador Michel Rainieri told reporters in Minsk on April 22.

He declined to elaborate on what steps he meant, noting that specific demands had been made by the European Union Council in November last year.

"When I speak about these signals, I think everyone understands what I mean. If you look at Western newspapers issued in the last few months, you will see what they wrote about Belarus when there were problems with the Union of Poles, when two people were executed, and now when they speak about Belarus they mention [ousted Kyrgyz leader] Bakiyev," he said.

Mr. Rainieri would not comment on Alyaksandr Lukashenka's decision to offer refuge to the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan.

Speaking about relations between Belarus and France, the ambassador pointed to the need to step up economic contacts as this year's top priority. Belarus has managed to improve the performance of "the agencies that are responsible for economic cooperation with other countries" and create a better investment environment over the last few years, the diplomat noted, adding that he had received more than 30 French businesspeople interested to work in Belarus since the beginning of the year.