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 Tuesday: "In light of the elections in Belarus, we can see the danger aspirations of democracy are in, and that is quite close to use.
"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 commons EU statements regarding Russia carrying significant weight, especially in support of Ukraine.
Reinsalu spent Tuesday in Riga, Latvia, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Latvian-Soviet Peace Treaty with the foreign ministers of Latvia, Finland and Poland.
Joint Statement of Nordic-Baltic Foreign Ministers on recent developments in Belarus. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yxlNIZPApA— Estonian MFA ???????? (@MFAestonia) August 11, 2020
On Tuesday, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Vyacheslav Kachanov, the Ambassador of Belarus to the Republic of Estonia.
ERR News wrote on Monday that following the elections in Belarus on Sunday, the Belarusian Central Election Commission said the results of the election showed Alexander Lukashenko received 80.23 percent of the total votes, with opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya winning only 9.9 percent.
An exit poll conducted in Tallinn and 25 major cities in Europe showed large-scale support for the opposition candidate among Belarusians living in Estonia, further legitimizing suspicions of vote-rigging.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste