We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Belarus: Statement by the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus on the expulsion of two British diplomats

Minsk, 12/11/2020

On 8 November 2020, the Belarusian authorities declared two British diplomats personae non gratae (PNGs) and expelled them from Belarus.

The reasoning given by the Belarusian authorities for expelling the diplomats is unjustified and relates to the standard work of a foreign diplomat. As diplomats, we must be able to do our jobs. Further intimidation of our colleagues as they carry out normal diplomatic tasks is unacceptable.

The expulsion of the two British diplomats is another unfortunate and unacceptable step by the Belarusian authorities. It follows last month’s “request” that Poland and Lithuania recall their ambassadors  and limit drastically their diplomatic presence in Belarus.

These actions further isolate the Belarusian authorities and do not contribute to keeping the channels of communication open.

For the last couple of months, Minsk-based EU Heads of Missions – joined by our British colleagues – have stood in solidarity with the people of Belarus who demand the respect for fundamental democratic rights through free and fair elections at a turning point in the country’s history.

We will continue to work together in support of fundamental values and freedoms in Belarus.