“Conducting free and fair presidential elections in Belarus, freeing all political prisoners, refraining from repressing civil society and bringing to justice those responsible for human rights violations” – these postulates were included in a joint statement by the heads of parliaments of the Visegrad Group countries, who met in Poland.
The heads of parliaments of the Visegrad Group met on Friday at the Topacz Castle in Ślęza near Wrocław. The talks were attended by Speakers of the Sejm and Senate, Elżbieta Witek and Tomasz Grodzki, and the chairman of the Hungarian National Assembly, Laszlo Kover, the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Boris Kollar, the Senate of the Czech Republic, Milos Vystrcil, and the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, Radek Vondracek.
In a joint statement, the interlocutors emphasized that they “jointly condemn all violations of international law, and above all, causing an explosion of ammunition docks in Vrbetice on the territory of the Czech Republic and forcing a passenger plane to land in Minsk in order to arrest the Belarusian opposition activist Raman Pratasiewicz on board. “. They also supported “the adoption of sanctions against the regime [w Mińsku – przyp. red.]but not against the citizens. “
Appeal for the release of political prisoners
The presidents of the V4 parliaments called for “free and fair presidential elections in Belarus to be held, for the release of all political prisoners, including journalists and representatives of national minorities, to refrain from repressing civil society and to hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable.”
They also reaffirmed their support for the process of European integration of the Western Balkan countries and for the Eastern Partnership. They also expressed their deep concern about the ongoing conflict in the east and south of Ukraine and the continuing tension in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the situation in Moldova and Georgia. They called for an end to conflicts and for the development of lasting peace agreements.
In the common position, politicians also stressed the need for Ukraine to accelerate European reforms and “demonstrate commitment to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The importance of cooperation in the age of a pandemic
In the year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Visegrad Group, the heads of parliaments of the V4 recognized that in the past decades this format of cooperation served the interests of our nations well. He contributed to joining NATO and the European Union and allowed them to build their own position within them. They emphasized the special importance of cooperation in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Main photo source: Maciej Kulczyński / PAP