STA, 19 August 2020 - The EU's primary concern is that the fundamental rights and freedoms of Belarusians, including the right to free and fair election and self-determination about their international connections, are respected, Prime Minister Janez Janša told a virtual EU summit on Wednesday. He said Russia should recognise these rights as well.
"Slovenia knows about stolen elections from its own experience and it thus understands and supports the democratic demands by the Belarusians," the prime minister's office quoted Janša as saying.
The Slovenian prime minister believes that only a new presidential election with a strong presence of observers of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) can lead to stabilisation of the country and ensure peace.
Slovenia also agrees that sanctions should not be directed towards Belarusian citizens and the economy, but target individuals in the country, the release says.
This way, the EU would boost support to the democratic forces in Belarus, but the EU should also commit to helping Belarus economically after the end of the crisis, Janša said.
The EU leaders at the summit agreed that the recent presidential election was neither free nor fair, that the government's response to the protests with force is unacceptable, and that the Alexander Lukashenko regime should stop it.
Janša also endorsed the initiative from Lithuania to establish a EU fund for aiding the victims of repression in Belarus and the proposal by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhely to send a fact-finding mission to Minsk.