GENEVA, September 18. /TASS/. The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) has called on the Belarusian authorities to begin dialogue with the Coordination Council of the opposition, as follows from the UNHRC resolution passed on Friday after a discussion of the situation in that country.
The HRC "calls on the Belarusian authorities to enter into dialogue with the political opposition including the Coordination Council and the civil society in order to guarantee the respect for human rights law, including civil and political rights," the document reads.
The resolution, initiated by Germany on behalf on the European Union, was not met with unanimity. Thus, only 22 out of 47 member nations, or less than a half, voted in its favor. They were the European Union nations, Ukraine and most of Latin American countries. Venezuela and Eritrea voted against it, and 22 nations, mostly African countries and Armenia, abstained.
Russia currently is not a member of the UN Human Rights Council and hence it did not take part in the voting, however its delegation took an active part in the discussion, pointing to the fact that the European Union is seeking to use the UNHRC and human rights topics as a tool of political pressure on Belarus. Russia suggested 17 amendments to the German draft but none were adopted. Thus, Russia suggested an amendment on the inadmissibility of interference into Belarus’ domestic affairs.
Dmitry Vorobyov of the Russian delegation stressed "absolute inadmissibility" of attempts to meddle with "electoral processes in a sovereign state." He cited a ruling of the Belarusian Constitutional Court that recognized the establishment of the Coordination Council as unconstitutional.