Government Calls on Belarusian Regime to Halt Violence Immediately

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protests in Minsk (photo by TASR/AP)

Bratislava, August 19 (TASR) – The Slovak Government acting within the European Union will support decisions aimed at targeted and restrictive measures against those responsible for the violence committed against citizens of Belarus protesting against the non-observance of civil and human rights, according to the Slovak Government’s stance on the situation in Belarus adopted by the Cabinet at its session on Wednesday.

At the same time Slovakia will push for the mobilisation of all tools to support Belarusian civil society and will support the international community’s efforts to halt the escalation of tension in Belarus.

The Government in its stance calls on the Belarusian leadership to halt the violence immediately and to respect fundamental human rights. It also calls for a fair investigation and for those responsible for the violence to be punished. In addition, people detained during peaceful protests should be released immediately, and a dialogue with civil society leading to a repeated presidential election should be initiated as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) said that he invited outgoing Belarusian Ambassador to Slovakia Igor Leshchenya to the Government Office on Tuesday (August 18). He viewed it as important to send such a signal to brave people in Belarus. “I was informed in detail yesterday, and I’ll wait to see how the situation develops,” said Matovic when asked whether it will also be a case of “open arms” if the Belarusian ambassador asks for asylum. The prime minister believes that the situation will move towards meeting the democratic vision of Belarus “that is much written about in the Belarusian Constitution”.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok (a Freedom and Solidarity/SaS nominee) praised the fact that the Government adopted a unanimous stance on the situation on Belarus, which he views as a very strong call.

According to Korcok, the European Union’s answer to Belarus must come, but it won’t be directed against the people but against specific individuals who form part of the regime and were engaged in manipulating the election and the subsequent reprisals.