TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said on Monday that the elections that took place in Belarus on Sunday cannot be considered free and fair, and expressed regret that the path taken by Belarus is drawing the country farther from Europe.
Kaljulaid wrote in a Facebook post that judging by tentative pieces of information, the elections that took place in Belarus on Sunday "unfortunately cannot be deemed free and fair."
"I am observing with concern how the authorities of Belarus are suppressing peaceful demonstrations with brutal force, restricting the freedom of assembly, oppressing civil society and violating elementary human rights. I sincerely regret that as an Eastern Partner of the European Union, Belarus has chosen a path which is drawing it farther from Europe, not closer to it," Kaljulaid said.
"I hope that the authorities of Belarus will nevertheless decide, thinking about the future of the state, to choose the path of peaceful dialogue with their people and communities," the Estonian head of state said.