Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (26 August) on current developments in Belarus:
With the daily rise in crackdowns on peaceful demonstrators, the leadership in Minsk is increasingly isolating itself from the international community. These courageous citizens have taken to their country’s streets to protest against election fraud and to defend their right anchored in law to freedom and democratic participation.
They are demanding no more but also no less than an open dialogue with their own government.
It is completely unacceptable that members of the Coordination Council have been arrested, interrogated and intimidated. The Coordination Council has repeatedly made clear that its goal is to help find a peaceful solution to the current crisis on the basis of the existing constitution and taking into account the close relations between Belarus and Russia, also between the civil societies of the two countries.
Mr Lukashenko will have no choice but to recognise the reality on his country’s streets and in the minds of his fellow citizens.
In the coming days in Berlin, the EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the EU’s further responses to the situation in Belarus. We will not fail to react to grave human rights violations or breaches of basic democratic principles.