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Sweden will act decisively against Belarus

We have, for a long time, been following the developments in Belarus, through several visits to the country over the past 15 years, and the support and engagement of the opposition parties and non-governmental organisations. In november of last year, we went to Work. It was the first visit by a Swedish foreign minister at the age of 27, and was accompanied by the Finnish minister of foreign affairs, Pekka Haavisto.

in Sweden do not compromise on our standards of human rights, democracy and freedom of speech. It is one of the main messages which the government is always in front when we're faced with official state representatives. Of course, at the time of our visit in the Minsk region, with civil society and the opposition, with the women, the unions and the city council rättsaktivister, as well as with the minister of foreign affairs, and the president of the republic.

a Worrying trend

It is with great concern that we are monitoring the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections. The police have been using force against the protesters, in a disproportionate and intolerable manner. As well the us that the journalists have been deprived of their liberty. There have been reports of multiple injuries and deaths. The responsibility for this violent development of the rest of president Lukashenko.

the Implementation of the presidential election, following a sad tradition of non-democratic elections in Belarus. Electoral fraud appears to have been wide-ranging, including information on errors in the förtidsröstandet. These data are, however, difficult to verify, since the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission was not given the opportunity to monitor the elections, on the basis of an order then an invitation from Belarus.

the Continuing violence against protesters, and the protesters are going to have an impact on Sweden's and the EU's relationship with the leadership in Minsk,

a number of opposition candidates were prevented a priori from participation in the elections, a number of them have also been imprisoned or gone into exile. The election campaign has been marred by arbitrary detentions, and fines on journalists and political activists.

Meanwhile, the electoral process has shown a clear demand for democratic change and reforms in Belarus is great. It is about the commitment to change was evident as we talked with the representatives of the belarusian opposition and civil society groups.

the Authorities have now for the immediate release of all persons detained in the context of the elections and politically motivated prosecutions to be shut down. President Lukashenko has to respect the principles of democracy and heed the people's demands for change.

on the Democratic reforms, such as changes to the electoral law, have to be carried out. As a first step, the belarusian government to initiate a genuine dialogue with the opposition.

the foreign MINISTRY has been called up to Belarus's ambassador in Stockholm, sweden and raised in our critique and approach to the elections.
Working for the penalties
On Friday, in an extraordinary EU foreign ministers ' meeting to discuss the situation in Belarus, and what are the implications of the recent development of the relations with the EUROPEAN union. We believe that the EUROPEAN union should impose targeted sanctions against persons who have been directly responsible for the violence against the demonstrators, and the strike, and we hope that the council will give support in view of the upcoming ministerial conference.

in order For sanctions to be effective, there must be clear requirements as to the steps the EU expects from Belarus, the EU also announced in their statement.

The opposition has everything to lose by isolating Belarus, and also are often expressed.

the level of Commitment of the people of Belarus, as well as its ambition to forge closer contacts between our societies will continue. We will stand up for Belarus ' sovereignty and the right to make independent choices. However, the continuation of violence against protesters, and the protesters are going to have an impact on Sweden's and the EU's relationship with the leadership of the Minsk region. Sweden don't compromise on our demands for reform and towards a democratic Belarus. < / span> < / span>

the Minister of foreign affairs.

the Ambassador, and the former OSCE special co-ordinator of the international observation mission, including, among other things, the presidential elections held in Belarus in 2015.

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