Finland and Latvia support the common European Union policy concerning Belarus

We will wait for the decisions of the European Union's Foreign Ministers Meeting with regard to Belarus, Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis said at their joint press conference on 20 January.

Both ministers feel that the current situation in Belarus is most unfortunate. "We will follow the common European foreign policy and believe in multilateral action with regard to Belarus. We will wait for the decisions of the European Union's Foreign Ministers Meeting on the 31st of January. We believe that civil liberties should be restored and the opposition leaders released," Minister Stubb stated. "But the situation in Belarus can of course change if the opposition leaders are freed and the country is prepared for development supporting human rights and democracy."

"Belarus should be encouraged, however, to pursue development of democracy, education projects and economic relations important for countries of the region," Foreign Minister Kristovskis said.

Among the topics discussed by Kristovskis and Stubb in Helsinki were Air Baltic as a gateway in our region, Russia, points of view concerning the coming European Union's Foreign Ministers Meeting at the end of January and the European Union's strategic concept. The discussion also touched upon the Conventional Arms Treaty (CFE).

Kristovskis said he is glad to hear the views of his more experienced colleague, since he himself assumed the position of foreign minister for Latvia only a couple of months ago.

Finland was the first to recognize Latvia as an independent country on the 21st of January 90 years ago.


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