TALLINN - Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said at a meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Monday that the Belarusian regime must not feel it has impunity.
Estonia and Tsikhanouskaya hosted an event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with a focus on the crisis in Belarus and its impact on the region and global security, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
"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. 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," the Estonian foreign minister said.
Reinsalu underlined that in the past two years, we have repeatedly seen how the criminal actions of the Belarusian regime against its people have expanded and become an international threat.
"The Belarusian authorities are also accomplices in Russia's war against Ukraine that 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," the Estonian minister said.
Reinsalu recognized the bravery and persistence of the people of Belarus in standing up for their future and highlighted their commitment to supporting Ukraine.
"As the people of Belarus and Ukraine have not tired of fighting for freedom, the international community must also not become weary. Today it is more important than ever to work together to protect the rules-based international order and the values we cherish," he said.
Reinsalu is in New York from Sept. 19 to 24 for the opening week of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, dozens of bilateral meetings and several side events.