Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland have released a joint statement on the latest developments in Belarus following the presidential election held on August 9.
The three countries have recently established a new format of cooperation, the Lublin Triangle, according to the press service of Ukraine's diplomacy.
"As Foreign Ministers of Lublin Triangle States, we are deeply concerned with escalation of the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections and call upon the authorities to refrain from the use of force and to release all those detained last night," the statement reads.
The top diplomats note the essential nature of respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, including democracy and rule of law, for "further development of independent and sovereign Belarus, which we fully support".
The foreign ministers stress that it's only by means of dialogue that the current situation can be resolved "for the benefit of the people and the state of Belarus".
The three countries remain open for "any assistance or good offices in facilitating this dialogue", the joint statement underlines, stressing the importance of Belarus's prosperity for the entire Europe.
"We are all interested in continuing mutually beneficial dialogue as well as cooperation based upon democratic values and focused on creating conditions for a common and stable future," the ministers conclude.
Belarus protests - background
- On August 9, the presidential election was held in Belarus.
- The CEC released official exit polls: 80.23% voted for the incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, 9.9% - for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.68% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.13% for Sergei Cherechnya, and 1.04% for Andrey Dmitriev, while 6.02% voted against all candidates.
- On the evening of August 9, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets in a spontaneous act of protest. Clashes erupted with security officials.
- In Minsk, law enforcement fired rubber bullets at protesters. According to human rights activists, about 300 people were detained, dozens were wounded and hospitalized, while one person reportedly died after being hit by a service vehicle.
- The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus has refuted information about the person's death.
- Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania agreed on a new format of interstate cooperation, the so-called "Lublin Triangle," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported on July 28.
- Kuleba explained the Lublin Triangle would focus on "deepening interaction between our countries."
- Parties will engage in economic issues, trade, investment, infrastructure, and tourism, that is, everything that can bring the countries closer and make Central Europe stronger, as per the foreign minister.