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The foreign ministers of eight Baltic and Nordic countries have issued a joint statement condemning the violent suppression of protests after long-time president Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term as president of Belarus on Sunday.


As stated in a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, in the context of the developments that are taking place in Belarus, express their grave concern about the violence against post-election demonstrations that have occurred in response to reports of widespread electoral fraud.

 

We are very troubled by the reports of physical injuries inflicted on the demonstrators."


The release states that elections in Belarus on August 9 did not comply with international commitments or globally recognized standards of democracy and rule of law.


As written in the release: "They were not free and fair."


The ministers' press release urges Belarusian authorities to stop persecuting people based on political views and to immediately release all who have been unfairly detained.


A call for genuine political dialogue with the opposition in order to avoid further use of violence is also brought out.


"We remain committed to the people of Belarus and will continue to closely follow developments," the release concludes.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) commented on the elections in Belarus on August 18: "In light of the elections in Belarus, we can see the danger aspirations of democracy are in, and that is quite close to us.


"The task for the European Union and for the free world is to pressure Belarus to stop using violence and to stop detaining people on political basis."


He added that the spread of false information and Russia's effect on the EU is a shared issue with common EU statements regarding Russia carrying significant weight, especially in support of Ukraine.


Reinsalu spent August 18th in Riga, Latvia, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Latvian-Soviet Peace Treaty with the foreign ministers of Latvia, Finland and Poland.

 

VES/ERR News

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