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G7 call for new elections in Belarus ‘set of hackneyed cliches’, Minsk says

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that the elections in his country took place under international observation
Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz Natalia Fedosenko/TASS
Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz
© Natalia Fedosenko/TASS

MINSK, May 6. /TASS/. The G7 communique calling for new presidential elections in Belarus and the release of those that the G7 deems unfairly detained is a "set of hackneyed cliches," the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

"As for the paragraph graciously awarded to Belarus. It’s a standard set of hackneyed cliches. Such mantras, with almost zero changes, drift from one platform to another, which indicates, unfortunately, a deep misunderstanding and unwillingness to understand the situation in our country by their authors, as well as an anti-Belarusian bias of their initiators," Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz said.

He pointed out that any intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states contradicts the basic norms and principles of international law.

"The rhetoric makes it clear where some ‘real opposition leaders’ have now come from as well. It is obvious now that they have already failed to appoint a ‘true power,’ so they seek to at least verbally legitimize a convenient opposition," he noted.

Glaz underscored that Belarus is a sovereign state that "will decide for itself what electoral campaigns to hold, and when."

"We do not need any calls, urging or commands from the outside," he underscored. "As another lesson, I will remind you that the [presidential] elections took place in our country under international observation. And if some international structures were unable to organize their work while having our invitation, then they should not try to unload their responsibility on someone else’s shoulders."

On Wednesday, the G7 member states published a communique on the outcome of the meeting of Foreign Ministers in London. In particular, they called on Minsk to release everyone detained "over the expression of their democratic aspirations," and "end the continued suppression of human rights and basic freedoms."

According to the document, the Belarusian government should "implement the recommendations of the OSCE independent expert mission," which advocated the repeat presidential elections. The G7 also urged Minsk "to engage in substantial dialogue with all members of the society, including the true leaders of the opposition, and accept the OSCE Chairman’s offer of mediation for resolution of the political crisis."

On August 9, 2020, Belarus held presidential elections. According to the Central Electoral Commission, Alexander Lukashenko won with 80.10% of votes. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came second, with 10.12% support; she refused to recognize the election outcome. Immediately after the outcome was announced, mass protests engulfed Belarus, which initially led to clashes with the police. The authorities demand the unauthorized rallies to stop, while the opposition urges to continue protests until new elections are announced.