“The human rights situation in Belarus is unacceptable,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. “Our support to the exiled university in Vilnius is a long-term investment in Belarus’s democratic future.”
From 2012, funding provided by Norway for the European Humanities University (EHU) in Vilnius is being increased from NOK 3 million to NOK 5 million. The EHU is the only university in exile in the world. It was closed by the Belarusian authorities in 2004, but reopened in Vilnius in 2005.
The board of the EHU visited Oslo on 7 September to participate at a meeting at the University of Oslo together with Foreign Minister Gahr Støre.
Belarus is due to hold parliamentary elections on 23 September this year.
“There is a natural place for Belarus in a Europe made up of free nations. But it can only take its rightful place if the country’s authorities respect democratic norms and fundamental human rights. Ensuring that the forthcoming elections are free and democratic would be an important step in the right direction,” said Mr Støre.