President and Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discuss situation in Belarus

Government Communications Department
Press release 523/2020

On Wednesday 19 August, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the situation in Belarus.

The country’s elections did not meet the international criteria or the criteria of the OSCE and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), nor can they be considered free or fair. Violence perpetrated by the authorities is unacceptable. Any new elections should be held in accordance with agreed principles, including international election observation  by the OSCE.

Finland emphasises the importance of refraining from violence and the use of force, releasing political prisoners and engaging in national dialogue to resolve the situation peacefully. The will and fundamental rights of Belarus and its citizens must be respected. Finland supports work on imposing  EU sanctions targeting Belarusian officials and is in favour of supporting  Belarusian civil society and independent media. Dialogue with representatives of the Belarusian government must also remain open. Finland supports the measures proposed by the OSCE, such as a visit to Belarus by the OSCE troika.

Inquiries: Mikko Kinnunen, Director General, tel. +358 295 351 820, Maimo Henriksson, Director General, tel. +358 295 351 247, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.