During the conversation, Rinkēvičs confirmed Latvia’s position that in the democratic world no one doubts that the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9 were neither free nor fair.
Also, the inauguration ceremony on September 23 does not legitimize Alexander Lukashenko to hold the sixth term of the presidency, the minister stressed.
The Foreign Minister emphasized that Latvia is interested in the normalization of the situation in Belarus, which must take place in a democratic way. Rinkēvičs also expressed satisfaction that the representatives of the opposition have had the opportunity to visit Latvia. In his opinion, such opportunities should be used to explain the situation in Belarus outside its borders, including Latvia.
Cepkalo thanked Latvia for its position, noting that the support of the nearest neighboring countries is very important and he highly appreciates it. He provided an insight into his civic and political activities to date, as well as a vision for resolving the situation.
An exchange of views took place on possible developments and the parties agreed that the support of the international community for the people of Belarus is essential. The Foreign Minister and Cepkalo and his wife expressed hope that Belarus would have the opportunity to hold new presidential elections in the presence of international observers.
LETA has already reported that since the presidential elections on August 9, there have been widespread protests against the Lukashenko regime in Belarus. According to official results, Lukashenko won 80.1% of the vote in the election, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovska won only 10.1% of the vote. However, the opposition, based on evidence of unprecedented violations, claims that these results are falsified.
The European Union (EU) and other Western countries have also refused to recognize the election results, and Belarus is facing US and EU sanctions for falsifying election results and repressing protesters.
UN human rights investigator Anaisa Marina said last week that more than 10,000 people have been aggressively detained and more than 500 allegations of torture and thousands of people brutally beaten in Belarus since the elections.