The foreign ministers of Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania called on the Belarusian authorities to immediately enter into a political dialogue with the opposition. This is stated in a joint statement published on Tuesday, August 11, on the website of the Finnish Foreign Ministry.
“We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop persecuting political opponents, immediately release all those unjustly detained and respect human rights and freedoms. We call on the Belarusian government to immediately enter into a real political dialogue with the opposition in order to avoid further use of violence, ”the statement says.
Also, the Foreign Ministers of the Nordic and Baltic countries stressed that the elections held in Belarus did not meet the international obligations of the republic and world standards of democracy and the rule of law, they were not fair and free.
In addition, the ministers expressed concern about violence against demonstrators who participate in protests that began after the announcement of the voting results.
On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. According to the latest data from the Central Election Commission, the incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko won 80.08% of the vote, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was supported by 10.09% of voters. Tikhanovskaya’s headquarters did not recognize the results of the vote.
After the announcement of the preliminary results, unauthorized protests began in Minsk and other cities of Belarus, which resumed in the evening of August 10. Both civilians and security forces suffered, one person died.
On August 11, the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, Linas Linkevicius, announced that Tihanovskaya was currently safe and in Vilnius. According to him, before that she was detained in Belarus “and spent about seven hours in detention.” The Belarusian border committee later confirmed that Tikhanovskaya crossed the border with Lithuania at night. She had travel documents, no action was taken against her.
Later, Tikhanovskaya’s first appeal was published, in which she confirmed her departure from Belarus. After that, the presidential candidate recorded another video message in which she urged her supporters not to participate in the protests and not to confront the police.