Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas: we condemn the current events in Belarus
Press release, 28 March 2017
Photo of the Senate of the Republic of Poland
Regional security and the situation in Belarus and Ukraine dominated the agenda of the Assembly of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland, and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which took place in Warsaw.
“The latest events in Belarus are causing great concern. We condemn the use of brutal physical force by power structures against the peaceful residents and denounce the gross violations of the right to freedom of assembly and self-expression. We strongly condemn the detention of peaceful protesters, leaders of the democratic opposition, and media representatives as well as of numerous civil society activists. We call upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately end any violence, intimidation and use of threats against civil society activists. It is crucial to liberate, unconditionally and without delay, all individuals detained over the recent weeks,” said Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, at the Trilateral Parliamentary Assembly. He believed that the Russian and Belarusian military exercise ZAPAD 2017, scheduled for this September in Belarus, was a matter of great concern. Large and aggressive forces would be concentrated at the Lithuanian border and would be training to pursue offensive scenarios. “This represents a challenge for not only the national security of Lithuania and Poland but also that of NATO and the EU. The question is what signal ZAPAD 2017 intends to send to the Alliance,” Mr Pranckietis said.
He also emphasised that the issue of Ukraine must not disappear from the European political agenda. “As we commemorate the third anniversary of the events in Maidan and realise the importance of the current processes in the EU and the role of the situation in Ukraine for the security architecture of Europe, we see the need for us all to jointly make an effort to ensure that the issue of Ukraine stays on the political agenda and is not pushed to the side,” the Speaker of the Seimas pointed out.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine is a consultative interparliamentary body intended to discuss issues and projects of common interest. The Assembly comprises parliamentary delegations from the Lithuanian Seimas, the Polish Sejm and Senate, and the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, ten members each. As stipulated in the Statute of the Assembly, each national delegation is led by the Speaker of Parliament of the respective country.
The Assembly is guided by the principles of equality, mutual respect and trust, a common approach towards European affairs, and the necessity to further enhance the cooperation between the three countries.
Dalia Vencevičienė, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]