After the meeting with the representatives of non-governmental organizations active in Belarus on Thursday, President Gitanas Nausėda emphasized the importance of civil society for a peaceful change in the neighboring country. The President promised that Lithuania would not leave the people of Belarus in distress and would continue to provide them with humanitarian aid.
“Lithuania cares about what is happening in the neighboring country. We have been actively supporting Belarusian civil society for some time now, so it is no coincidence that Vilnius has become home to many human rights organizations. We will always be open to those who fight for freedom, democracy, and human rights”, the President said.
During the meeting, Gitanas Nausėda asked the representatives of non-governmental organizations operating in Belarus what difficulties they were currently facing and what needs might emerge in the future.
“We are closely watching the situation in Belarus and are prepared to help its people by granting asylum to the persecuted as well as medical and psychological assistance to the protesters”, the President reassured.
During the meeting, the fact that the Belarusian authorities are illegally restricting the rights of journalists working in the country and blocking the internet connection was listed as one of the biggest problems since it limited access to information. Those attending the meeting agreed that because of limited access to information it was not possible to see the full picture of the protests and repressions in Belarus.
The participants of the meeting focused on Lithuania's readiness to grant asylum to the Belarusian citizens if they were forced to flee their country because of repression or danger to life. The meeting noted that it was necessary to provide the victims of the mass protests in Belarus with access to medical care and rehabilitation services, as well as temporary housing for self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Those attending the meeting said that the European Humanities University in Vilnius which significantly contributed to the civic education of young Belarusian citizens was as a positive example.
The President highlighted that the active involvement of the Belarusian civil society could determine the country’s long-term future. The three-point plan proposed by the Lithuanian President and agreed with the neighboring countries demands the de-escalation of the situation in Belarus, the release of detainees and a peaceful dialogue between the actual Belarusian authorities and representatives of the civil society.
According to the President, if the Belarusian authorities refused to accept the plan for a peaceful resolution of the situation, the international community would have to take tough measures, including sanctions.
Last updated 2020.08.13 19:48Back