TALLINN – In their joint declaration on the 103rd anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Belarusian People’s Republic, the chairs of the foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania confirmed full support to the people of Belarus and condemned the continuing repressions and violence of the Belarusian security forces.
Chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament Marko Mihkelson said that the international community had not forgotten the people of Belarus and the events there were observed closely. "The developments in Belarus are very close to the hearts of the Baltic nations. We have also fought for the restoration of our independence and democracy, therefore we fully understand the determination and motivation of the Belarusians in standing for their freedom and fundamental rights," he said.
Mihkelson said that he and his colleagues emphasized in their joint declaration that the Baltic states along with the international community were committed to continue supporting Belarusian democracy and sovereignty. "Together with our European and Euro-Atlantic partners, we are eager to strengthen Belarus’s peaceful transition to democracy without weakening its independence," he added.
The signatories stated in solidarity with the people of Belarus struggling for their freedom and independence of their homeland that Alexander Lukashenko does not have national or international legitimacy and right to represent the people of Belarus. "We support democratic opposition leaders of Belarus in their calls for free and fair elections through internationally mediated negotiations and with international observation," they declared.
The chairs of the foreign affairs committees underlined in the declaration that they condemn the continuing brutal and violent repression of the Belarusian security forces against peaceful demonstrators, independent journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, labor unions and political activists. They demanded the immediate end of violence, unconditional release of all political prisoners and detainees who are currently deprived of their fundamental rights, as well as a safe return for Belarusian citizens who were forced flee the country into exile. They also affirmed the international protection and support to independent media, human rights defenders and civil society organizations that are vital to strengthening democracy in Belarus.
The declaration also stressed that sanctions are a step in the right direction, and that there is a need for further sanctions targeting those who participated in falsifying elections or systemic human rights abuses thus serving as a tool of the abusive regime.