We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Germany and Poland, observe the ongoing developments in Belarus with great concern. On the eve of the presidential elections, we firmly stand by the right of the Belarusian people to exercise their fundamental freedoms, including electoral rights, and support the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus.
Hence, we are concerned that neither OSCE/ODIHR, nor OSCE PA or PACE were given the opportunity to observe the electoral process. Therefore, we urge Belarusian authorities to conduct the upcoming presidential election in a free and fair manner, including ensuring independent monitoring by local observers. We have taken note of worrying reports of electoral irregularities during early voting.
Belarus is an important neighbour of the European Union and an active member of the Eastern Partnership. Our relations in the last decade have been marked by a difficult but promising dialogue and practical cooperation. We believe in building stronger ties between Belarus and its people and the European Union that are based on the respect of common democratic values, including civil liberties and the rule of law.
A lot has already been achieved thanks to our joint efforts. We express concern that our common achievements not be thwarted. We call on the Belarusian leadership to release all prisoners detained on political grounds, refrain from violence or any activity directed against human rights, including civic and political freedoms, and to respect the will of the Belarusian people. There is no other way to the strengthening of the Belarusian independence than through a genuine and inclusive social dialogue.