EU/USA Statement on decision by the Government of Belarus to terminate the mission of the OSCE’s Office

State­ment by the Spokesper­sons of Cather­ine Ash­ton, EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State
“Cather­ine Ash­ton, EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton, U.S. Sec­re­tary of State regret the deci­sion by the Gov­ern­ment of Belarus to ter­mi­nate the mis­sion of the OSCE’s Office in Min­sk. The man­date of the mis­sion is not com­plet­ed, as the OSCE’s crit­i­cal assess­ment of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions indi­cates. The elec­tions and their after­math — par­tic­u­lar­ly the con­tin­u­ing deten­tion of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates and new deten­tions and raids tar­get­ing the media — rep­re­sent a step back­wards in the devel­op­ment of demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nance in Belarus. They call for the imme­di­ate release of all detained.

They also reit­er­ate their call on the Belaru­sian author­i­ties to ful­fill their com­mit­ments to the OSCE by reform­ing the elec­tion process and pro­vid­ing greater respect for human rights. The OSCE has car­ried out valu­able work in the coun­try, in par­tic­u­lar in pro­mot­ing insti­tu­tion build­ing and the rule of law and sup­port­ing the devel­op­ment of civ­il soci­ety. The EU and U.S. remain will­ing to assist Belarus in meet­ing its OSCE com­mit­ments in the field of human rights and fun­da­men­tal freedoms.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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