VILNIUS – Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has called not to forget about Belarusian civil society, despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.
On Monday, two years since the beginning of mass protests over an allegedly rigged presidential election in Belarus, he met with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and other representatives of the civil society and opposition of Belarus, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
According to the foreign minister, the mass protests of 9 August 2020 were a manifesto, representing the aspirations for freedom of the people of Belarus, who also set an example of how to fight for the rights and freedoms with courage, dignity and peace.
“In the context of Russia's war against Ukraine, we must also not forget about Belarus. Just like two years ago, this country also today needs the democratic world's support. Belarus, which strives for freedom, must remain on both Lithuanian and international political agendas. I believe that, if we all join our efforts with democratic forces in Belarus, it will help us achieve the main goal – hold democratic elections in the country as soon as possible,” the press release from the ministry quoted Landsbergis as saying.
The participants of the meeting also talked about political prisoners – as estimated, more than 1,200 people at present – put behind bars by the Belarusian regime, the ministry reported.
Landsbergis expressed his support to the wish of the Belarusian people to oppose the Belarusian regime’s involvement in the Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as to compromise the Kremlin’s efforts to undermine the independence of Belarus.