Lithuania, Poland, and Romania call for EU assistance package for Belarus
Romania's president Klaus Iohannis and his Lithuanian and Polish counterparts, Gitanas Nauseda and Andrzej Duda, have issued a statement calling for an EU "package of assistance for democratic Belarus' economic transformation."
"We believe that in supporting the people of Belarus, the European Union - as a major global economic power - should extend a package of assistance for the democratic Belarus' economic transformation. The package should encompass, inter alia: facilitation of trade with the EU and assistance in WTO accession negotiations; visa-free regime when the necessary conditions are in place; assistance for the diversification of the energy sector and Belarus' energy security; access to financial resources for the restructuring and kick-starting the Belarus liberal economy; increasing international financial institutions' presence and activity in reforming the economy and boosting investments," according to the statement.
The three presidents also called on the international community to join the European Union "in preparing a positive agenda for Belarus together with a support package for the political, economic, and societal transition of the country."
In the same statement, the three say they will "stand together with the people of Belarus in building a democratic path, via democratically elected state leadership, a free civil society, market economy and the rule of law."
They offer their expertise and know-how for political and economic reforms, building independent institutions "and safeguarding the environment, where respect for human rights and the freedom of speech would be an unshakable fundamental norm of society."
The three presidents also said they stand "firmly for freedom and the advancement of democratic principles" and stresses that "free, fair, and transparent elections are the fundamental democratic right of any nation."
The statement notes that the results of the elections can be recognized "only if carried out in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and subject to international election observation."
"Nobody else but the people of Belarus have the ultimate right to decide the destiny of their country," the statement says.
In August, the