France calls for end to repression in Belarus
Belarus – Reply by M. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, 9 February 2021
The position of France and the Europeans concerning Belarus is unambiguous.
We’d absolutely like an end to the practices of repression and the violation of democratic freedoms.
We don’t recognize the legitimacy of Alexander Lukashenko. We condemn his practices, and the European Union has proceeded with sanctions, because 84 officials implicated in electoral fraud and repression have been denounced, including Alexander Lukashenko and seven entities. Those sanctions will be broadened if the practices persist over time.
The repression being exerted by the authorities cannot continue, and we call on them to release political prisoners and ensure that all this repression ends and the arrests and criminal prosecutions cease.
This is why we also expect those authorities to establish political dialogue with civil society, whose mobilization we support. And we’ve stepped up the means of support to that civil society, which has paid a heavy price since the beginning of the mobilization.
We’ve directed additional financial resources to academics, free media organizations and students. In this crisis, France will support any political solution that addresses the profound aspirations of the Belarusian people./.