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FMs of Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine urge Belarus not to use force amid protests

11.08.2020 07:10
The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have called on the authorities in Belarus to refrain from using force amid protests in that country as the opposition accused President Alexander Lukashenko of rigging his re-election victory.
Photo: gov.pl

“We are deeply concerned with escalation of the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections and call upon the authorities to refrain from the use of force and to release all those detained last night,” the three ministers said in a joint statement published on the Polish foreign ministry website on Monday.

They added: “Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, including democracy and rule of law, is essential for further development of independent and sovereign Belarus, which we fully support.”

The foreign ministers said tensions in Belarus could be resolved only through dialogue.

Following demonstrations after a presidential election, Belarus police fired stun grenades and used batons against protesters in fresh clashes on Monday, the Reuters news agency reported.

Official results handed Lukashenko, in power for more than a quarter of a century, an 80% share of the vote in Sunday's election, while Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, Lukashenko's main electoral opponent, took around 10%.

Poland’s prime minister has called for a special summit of EU leaders to be held focusing on Belarus. Mateusz Morawiecki made the call in a letter to European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Meanwhile, Poland’s foreign ministry voiced “grave concern about the brutal pacification” of demonstrations in Belarus.

“The sharp reaction of law enforcement officers, use of force against peaceful protesters, and arbitrary detentions are unacceptable,” the foreign ministry in Warsaw said.

Earlier, the presidents of Poland and Lithuania urged the Belarusian authorities to uphold “basic democratic standards.”


Source: gov.pl/Reuters