Minister Linkevičius and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg discussed the situation in Belarus
On 7 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius had a telephone conversation with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, and discussed the situation in Belarus after the presidential election.
The interlocutors noted that the peaceful protests, which started after the election fraud in Belarus on 9 August, were met with brutal repression. Thousands of opposition supporters were arrested and experienced violent attacks in Belarusian prisons.
“During the conversation it was pointed out that the attempts by Belarusian officials to accuse NATO and its allies of strengthening the military power throughout the region were completely unfounded. Minsk spares no effort to create imaginary external threats as a pretext for the authorities' crackdown on protestors. As a defense alliance, NATO should remain vigilant, monitor the changing situation and be ready to defend the allies against any aggression. All NATO allies are unitedly calling for respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as voicing their support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of Belarus,” said Linkevičius.
In addition, Linkevičius thanked Stoltenberg for NATO’s rapid reaction to the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It is very important that the allies expressed their united position on 4 September and issued a statement condemning the attack against Navalny, as well as urging Russia to bring those responsible to justice, bearing in mind Russia’s commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention.