Виступ Міністра закордонних справ України Дмитра Кулеби на неформальному засіданні РБ ООН за формулою Арріа щодо ситуації з правами людини в Білорусі

Виступ Міністра закордонних справ України Дмитра Кулеби на неформальному засіданні РБ ООН за формулою Арріа щодо ситуації з правами людини в Білорусі

Minister Reinsalu,

I thank you personally for organizing today’s event. The information we heard from the briefers is both worrying and alarming.

Ukraine, as a neighbour and a friend of Belarus, follows closely the developments there, including with human rights. We are deeply interested in continuing mutually beneficial dialogue and cooperation with Belarus based upon democratic values for a common and stable future in this part of Europe.

We are concerned that authorities continue to deploy unacceptable violence against peaceful protesters, causing many injuries. Thousands were detained and the crackdown on freedoms intensified.

Once the Belarusian authorities resorted to violence against peaceful protesters, the foreign ministries of the Lublin Triangle countries (Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine) issued a statement in which we expressed deep concern with escalation, called upon the authorities to refrain from the use of force and to release all those detained. We also offered any assistance or good offices in facilitating dialogue in Belarus.

I regret that our joint voice was not heard. Instead, we hear groundless accusations from Minsk, and I particularly regret hearing them as a friend and a good neighbour. We were forced to recall our ambassador in Belarus for consultations and put on hold all bilateral contacts at the highest and high political level.

Dear colleagues,

We believe that respect for human rights and dialogue are two pillars needed for the restoration of stability in Belarus. It is important to prevent further political persecution of opponents and those who took to the streets to demonstrate their position, and to thoroughly investigate all allegations of the use of force against peaceful protesters.

The release of all detainees from custody could be the beginning of a dialogue between the authorities and civil society in order to find compromises. The next step could be the announcement of new democratic elections with the invitation of international observers — first of all OSCE/ODIHR.

Ukraine also welcomes the joint proposal of the current Albanian and incoming Swedish OSCE Chairpersons-in-Office to pay visit to Belarus to meet with the representatives of the government and opposition and we support such a dialogue.

Speaking about mediation, I would also like to underline that it should be considered purely as an assistance. Nobody is imposing anything on Belarus. It is absolutely unacceptable to intervene in internal affairs, including elections. Ukraine never interfered in Belarusian affairs, we are not interfering and will never do.

I hope that every country — first of all Russia — will follow the suit and refrain from activities, including intervention, which might further destabilize the situation in the neighbouring country.

Ukraine is ready to make every effort to help Belarus pass this difficult stage without weakening its sovereignty and independence.

Stable and democratic development of Belarus is crucial for its own citizens, for neighbouring Ukraine and for the broader Europe.