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‘Blatant pressure’: Minsk blasts Western diplomats’ criticism of Belarusian investigators

The spokesman recalled that, according to the UN Charter, states must refrain from interfering in internal competence of another country, as well as respect its sovereignty, meaning the right to exercise all kinds of power within its own territory
Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz Natalya Fedosenko/TASS
Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz
© Natalya Fedosenko/TASS

MINSK, February 18. /TASS/. Statements made by EU, American and British diplomats about the harassment of civil society in Belarus is a blatant attempt at interfering in the republic’s internal affairs, Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz said Thursday.

On Wednesday, the EU mission in Minsk, as well as embassies of the US, UK and Switzerland came out with a joint statement, condemning the "increased harassment of civil society," claiming persecution of journalists, human rights and union activists. The statement underscored that these people are being harassed for "carrying out [their] fundamental rights during peaceful protests against the August 2020 elections," as well as "continued brutality by law enforcement."

"From the standpoint of diplomacy, as well as general common sense, this could only be interpreted as a totally ridiculous action. It is unclear, whom our colleagues seek to deceive, and whom they take Belarusians for. They declare their alleged support of our country’s independence at every corner, but show with steps like this that they couldn’t care less for the sovereignty of Belarus. There is no need to explain that such outbursts from diplomatic missions have already become a form of dictate, blatant pressure and an attempt at interference in internal affairs," the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Glaz added that investigations in Belarus deal with financial aspects, which are "thwarted most severely in any of the countries that came forth with the statement."

"Moreover, we see not only a display of negligence towards Belarus’ sovereign rights, but also an ignorance of our country’s legislation, as well as attempts to put themselves above the republic’s legal and judicial systems," he stressed.

The spokesman recalled that, according to the UN Charter, states must refrain from interfering in another country’s internal competence, and they must respect the sovereignty of another country, meaning its right to exercise all kinds of power within its own territory.

"Belarus is not their mandated territory, it is a sovereign state that enjoys the entire spectrum of power on its own soil, and a full set of tools for protecting its national interests, including the enforcement of its national legislation in full compliance with its international obligations," Glaz underscored.

On February 16, searches took place at premises belonging to many Belarusian human rights activists, journalists and members of independent professional unions. The Investigative Committee stated that the searches occurred in order to determine the details on the funding of the rallies that have carried on since the presidential elections of August 2020.