Foreign Minister: Belarusian regime must not feel it can act with impunity

Urmas Reinsalu wtih Svetlana Tikhanovskaya at Monday's meeting at the UN in New York.
Urmas Reinsalu wtih Svetlana Tikhanovskaya at Monday's meeting at the UN in New York. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Belarus, as an ally of the Russian Federation, is complicit in human rights violations being committed in Ukraine, not to mention within Belarus itself, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says.

Speaking after a meeting in New York with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Monday, Reinsalu said: "The Belarusian authorities are also accomplices in Russia's war against Ukraine, which has continued for more than six months now.

"This is why we must ramp up sanctions against the regime, continue isolating them internationally and ensure legal accountability because the Lukashenko regime should not feel it has impunity,"  Reinsalu went on, according to a press release from the foreign ministry, underliining that the criminal actions on the part of Alexander Lukashenko's regime against the Belarusian people have been going on much longer, at least for two years, but have recently expanded and become an international threat, given the current security situation.

The meeting with Tsikhanouskaya took place on the sidelines of the opening of the  UN General Assembly's 77th session on Monday.

"We decided to bring together the Belarusian opposition leader and representatives of various states, think tanks and companies on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to give the Belarusian voice a platform on the multilateral arena," Reinsalu said.

"Our aim was to come together and discuss ways of supporting the aspirations of the Belarusian civil society and ensure that the violations of human rights and international law in the country are not ignored," he went on.

The foreign minister also recognized the bravery and persistence of the people of Belarus in standing up for their future and highlighted their commitment to supporting Ukraine, saying: "Since the people of Belarus and Ukraine have not tired of fighting for freedom, the international community must also not become weary either. Today it is more important than ever to work together to protect the rules-based international order and the values we cherish."

Reinsalu also met with UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on Monday, with Belarus, Ukraine and Russia again the main topics discussed.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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