Ukrainian parliament adopts statement on events in Belarus

Ukrainian parliament adopts statement on events in Belarus

Ukrinform
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has adopted a statement on the situation in Belarus.

A total of 228 MPs voted for a respective draft resolution, No. 3053a, at a parliament meeting on Tuesday, September 15.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine believes that the presidential election in Belarus was neither free nor fair.

"The election was held in the complete absence of competition between candidates, free media and authoritative observers from international organizations such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe," the statement said.

The Ukrainian parliament said the presidential election in Belarus took place with significant violations, numerous refusals to register candidates and a non-transparent vote count.

"We consider it unacceptable to intimidate opponents, imprison them, create obstacles for independent national observers at polling stations, violate the right of voters to express their will, and to establish the government's full control over the Central Election Commission of Belarus," the document said.

The Verkhovna Rada emphasized that all this gives grounds to believe that the officially announced results of the presidential election in Belarus do not reflect the real will of Belarusian citizens.

Ukrainian MPs condemned the use of excessive force and cruelty by Belarusian law enforcement agencies.

"We join the European Union's assessments of the undemocratic nature of the presidential election in Belarus and support the imposition of sanctions on those responsible for electoral fraud and violence against protesters," Ukrainian lawmakers said.

At the same time, the Verkhovna Rada demanded the release of all detainees without exception and expressed hope that the Belarusian authorities would not allow further escalation and tensions in Belarusian society, persecution of political opponents and Belarusian citizens who took to the streets to show their disagreement with the actions of the authorities and have their own alternative opinion.

The parliament also condemns and considers unacceptable the illegal detention of Ukrainian citizens.

"We will use all legal means to protect their rights and interests," the statement said.

Ukraine respects the sovereignty of Belarus, supports its independence and adheres to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. In this regard, the Verkhovna Rada strongly rejects the accusations of the Belarusian side regarding Ukraine's involvement in destabilizing the situation in Belarus.

"Belarus has always been and will be a fraternal state for us, with which we have historical, cultural and spiritual links. We hope that Belarus will overcome this difficult stage without weakening its sovereignty," the document reads.

The Ukrainian parliament also said that any intention to involve Russian and CSTO forces to resolve the situation in Belarus is unacceptable and such a step would be considered a direct threat to common European security and Ukraine's security.

The Verkhovna Rada called on the Belarusian authorities to establish an equal dialogue with Belarusian society in order to find a peaceful way out of the current crisis. One option could be new free and democratic elections with independent international observers from leading European institutions.

Protests are going on in Belarus against the rigging of the August 9 presidential election. According to official figures, Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, won 80.1% of the vote, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya garnered 10.1%. After that, Tikhanovskaya was forced to leave for Vilnius.

Belarusian security forces continue to use violence against demonstrators and detain protesters. According to the opposition, more than 10,000 people have been detained and several people have died since the beginning of the demonstrations.

The European Union has not recognized the results of the presidential election in Belarus and has decided to impose personal targeted sanctions on Belarusian officials involved in violence and electoral fraud.

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