A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (30 June 2021) on Belarus’ call to discontinue the work of the Goethe-Institut and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the country:
We regret the decision of the Belarusian side to call for an end to all activities by the Goethe-Institut and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Belarus. This step will further exacerbate Belarus’ international isolation. The effects of its decision will be suffered by the Belarusian people, who will be denied further opportunities for cultural and civil-society activity.
The Goethe-Institut and the DAAD have been helping to build cultural and academic bridges between Germany, Europe as a whole and Belarus for decades. They have served as an intermediary to establish contact and exchange between entire generations of Belarusian academics and creatives, as well as anyone else with an interest, and their German counterparts. This work has brought Germany and Belarus closer at the level of culture and society. The German Government will continue working to maintain cultural and societal cooperation between our two countries in the future.
Germany and the European Union stand by the Belarusian people and support their efforts and aspirations to have their basic political rights respected. We once again call on the Belarusian authorities to enter into a serious and inclusive national dialogue and to engage with the legitimate demands of the protest movement.