Foreign Minister Haavisto to visit Belarus
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Minsk in Belarus on 25 November together with Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde. The Ministers will meet President Alexander Lukashenko and Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, as well as opposition and civil society representatives.
They will discuss the cooperation with Belarus, the internal situation in the country and its EU relations as well as topical international matters. According to OSCE election observers, the parliamentary elections held in Belarus on Sunday 17 November were not administered in line with international standards.
“The relations between Finland and Belarus are good and practical. We want to promote the reforms in Belarus and the country’s EU integration. This is also what we are doing while holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. I hope that Belarus will take the OSCE election observers’ criticism seriously and listen to the Venice Commission's recommendations for the forthcoming elections. In EU affairs, we want to promote the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities and the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements, which are currently being negotiated. We will also have an open debate on the rule of law, human rights and civil society,” says Minister Pekka Haavisto.
Belarus is one of the six Partner countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP). In recent years, the relations between the EU and Belarus have converged on a number of practical issues, but the rule of law development in Belarus is a cause for concern. The EU hopes that Belarus will abolish the death penalty and increase Belarusian CSOs working opportunities.
Inquiries: Katja Kalamäki, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 511 1518 and Leena Liira, Counsellor, tel. +358 50 526 5562.
The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected]