On 3 June, the European Union and other international partners issued a joint statement on the upcoming presidential elections in Belarus.
“We, as friends of the Belarusian people and supporters of the sovereignty and independence of Belarus, welcome the progress achieved in our relations over the past few years,” the statement said.
The document acknowledged the signing of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with the EU and the doubling of its financial support as recent examples of positive developments between Belarus and its international partners.
The statement urged Belarusian authorities “to take the measures necessary to hold a safe, peaceful, free and fair election and to ensure fundamental freedoms”, adding that the international partners expect Belarus to invite observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The international partners also noted that in the context of the COVID-19 crisis they “strongly recommend the Belarusian authorities adopt the World Health Organization’s recommendations of physical distancing to minimize the COVID-19 threat in a way which allows all candidates an equal chance to campaign and inform voters about what they stand for”.
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