The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on the situation in Belarus, which states that the officially announced results of the presidential election in the country do not reflect the real expression of the will of Belarusian citizens.
The draft resolution is registered under No. 3053, its text is published on the Rada’s website. 228 deputies voted for the resolution, with the 226 minimum required. 28 people voted against, 21 people’s deputies abstained, there are 345 deputies in the Rada in total.
The document reads: “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine believes that the presidential election in Belarus were neither free nor fair. The election was held in the absence of competition between the candidates, free media, and authoritative observers from international organizations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe. This suggest that the officially announced results of the presidential election in Belarus do not reflect the real expression of the will of the Belarusian citizens.”
The deputies condemned the use of “excessive force and brutality by the law enforcement agencies of Belarus” and demanded the release of “all detainees, without exception, who took to the streets of cities to show their disagreement with the actions of the official authorities”.
“Ukraine resolutely rejects the accusations of the Belarusian side of involvement in the destabilization of the situation in Belarus and considers unacceptable any intention to involve the forces of the Russian Federation and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to resolve the situation in Belarus. We will consider such a step as a direct threat to the European security and security of Ukraine,” the resolution says.
The Verkhovna Rada called on the Belarusian authorities “to establish an equal dialogue with society and seek a peaceful way out of the crisis.” The Rada offers to hold “new, free and democratic election with the participation of independent international observers from leading European institutions.”
Recall that at the end of August, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced that the country was suspending all contacts with Belarus. On 16 August, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported that the announced results of the presidential election in Belarus are seen by the Belarusian society as not credible, and Kyiv shares the position expressed by the EU on them.
In an interview to the Wiener Zeitung, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his views on the situation in Belarus. He said that something similar to Maidan [riots] may happen “if the government refuses to engage in dialogue with the people.”
“I definitely support the Belarusian people. People are fighting for freedom and democracy, they do it without aggression and violence,” he said.
Zelensky noted that “no one is throwing stones, no one is setting fire to the buildings in Belarus,” but “the authorities abuse many protesters.” “It is important for me that there is no bloodbath.” At the same time, he noted that he does not see “a symbolic leader who could unite people.”