“Norway deeply deplores the latest developments in Belarus in which the EU and Polish ambassadors have been asked to leave the country. It is difficult to see how this will benefit the country. Belarus is isolating itself from Europe and the rest of the world and this can only damage its own political and economic development,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
On 28 February the EU strengthened restrictive measures against Belarus because of human rights violations. Later the same day, Belarus asked the EU and Polish ambassadors to leave the country. Norway has aligned itself with the restrictive measures imposed on Belarus, including the extension of these measures approved earlier in February.
“Belarus can only achieve economic development that benefits its population if the authorities ensure full respect for human rights. The authorities must also make sure that the parliamentary elections to be held in autumn 2012 are conducted in accordance with democratic principles,” said Mr Støre.
Norway will maintain its commitment to the development of democracy in Belarus as well as its increased support for human rights efforts in the country.