Press Releases Belarus: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell ahead of a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Belarus: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell ahead of a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Dear Sviatlana, we are happy to see you again in Brussels, and welcome to our meeting with EU Foreign Ministers.

We have a lot of problems around the world, the war in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, but we do not forget Belarus and its people.

Belarus and its people are on our minds – not only tonight.

In fact, we are working closely and are very much aware of the increasingly difficult situation in the country. And I am sure that the Ministers will be very keen to hear from you, dear Sviatlana, your assessment of the situation.

It is a good occasion to strongly condemn the continued repression by Lukashenko’s regime against its own population and condemn also his support to Putin’s war against Ukraine.

We have been putting in place sanctions against the regime and its supporters.

Tomorrow, the Ministers together with me, we will meet with ministers from Eastern Partnership countries, but the chair for Belarus will again be empty: because we do not recognise those who steal elections and repress their population. That’s what Lukashenka has done, he stole elections and represses the Belarusian people.

Tonight, we will have the pleasure to discuss with you, showing our commitment to engage with the Belarusian people, in the absence of being able to do that with official authorities.

I hope that the official authorities of Belarus will be [eventually] elected democratically and representing fully the Belarusian people. [Until then] we will continue sanctioning the regime and supporting the civil society and democratic forces.

And to underline this, I will announce today an extra financial support [of €30m] for Belarusian civil society and democratic forces and together with our announcement today, we will be reaching a figure of €140m since 2020.

I know, dear Sviatlana, that this is a drop of water in the ocean of the needs of the Belarusian people and opposition, but we do our best in order to support you.

I also want to use this opportunity to call on the regime to release all political prisoners, stop the repression, engage in inclusive national dialogue, and organise democratic elections.

I know that it’s preaching in the desert, and Lukashenko will not [want to] hear [to] me, but the EU and international community have to repeat once again this request  – to stop the repression, free political prisoners and call for free democratic elections.

Thank you!


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