RIGA - The Baltic countries reiterate their repeated requests to the Belarusian authorities to release all arbitrarily detained persons and avoid further use of violence, the foreign ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania said in a joint statement.
The Baltic foreign ministers, on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity with Belarus, express their support for the people of Belarus, the Latvian Foreign Ministry told LETA.
"Since August, the people of Belarus have peacefully stood for freedom and democracy. Week after week and month after month, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been impressed by their courage and drive for fundamental rights and free and fair elections," says the statement, stressing that this courage has been met with brutality and lawlessness by the authorities of Belarus.
The ministers point out that the aim of the Belarusian authorities is clear: to stifle the voices of peaceful demonstrators, to deny their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and suppress their legitimate demand for free and fair elections.
The joint statement goes on to say that the situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate. The violent crackdowns by the authorities of Belarus on peaceful protesters continue to this day.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reiterate their repeated requests to the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners and media workers, and hold perpetrators to account.
The three ministers also call on the authorities to avoid further use of violence, engage in a genuine political dialogue with the people and ensure the holding of free and fair elections in line with international standards and under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights observation.
"Just as the people of Belarus do not tire of standing up for their basic human rights and resisting violence, the international community must maintain its focus on what is going on in Belarus, monitor the situation closely and take action," says the statement.
Tonight public buildings in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be lighted up in the Belarusian national white-red-white colors, to show the solidarity with the people of Belarus.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said on Twitter, "Latvia stands together with Belarus people in their legitimate demands for fundamental freedoms and democracy, free and fair elections."
President Egils Levits has also released a video expressing Latvia's solidarity with the people of Belarus.
As reported, Belarus opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on all non-indifferent people to support Belarusian protesters by joining the Day of Solidarity with Belarus February 7, and Latvia has responded to this call.