David Kramer says it would be better if Belarus were represented not by representatives of President Alexander Lukashenko's regime but civil society activists and human rights advocates.
"I don't think you should have any government people from Belarus there if the current situation prevails. I would much prefer to have Belarus represented by civil society activists, human rights defenders," the head of Freedom House said.
"I am not saying - never talk to the government. That's not realistic. But I can't see giving people from the government a platform like the Eastern Partnership," Kramer added.
Belarus is among six EU neighbors in the East which are part of the Eastern Partnership program. But EU sanctions against representatives of the Belarusian regime are currently in place in response to repressions against the opposition and human rights restrictions.
An EU Eastern Partnership summit is scheduled to take place in Vilnius in November. Lithuanian officials hope leaders of EU biggest countries will also attend it.
Kramer acknowledged during a discussion at the US Embassy in Vilnius that Washington was wrong trying to "force" unity on Belarus' split opposition back in 2006 when he worked at the US State Department.
"I don't think it's the job of the West - Europe and the US - to force unity in the opposition. I don't think it will work. We tried that in 2006. I was involved myself, and I think we made a mistake," Kramer said.
The Freedom House head believes the West have no right to choose an opposition leader who should take over leadership, but adds that Europe and America have to work harder to explain that life will better without Lukashenko.
"It's not up to the Europeans and the United States to choose which opposition leader should be the next leader of Belarus. That's for Belarusians to decide," Kramer said.
"I think what we should be doing in the West is indicating what is possible in a post-Lukashenko period, that the doors would open whether it's on visa liberalization, whether it's on assistance, whether it's on IMF funding (...) or increased trade," he said.