Norway aligns with EU declaration on Belarus

On 22 March Norway aligned itself with the EU declaration condemning the presidential elections in Belarus. The text goes far in criticizing the elections, stating that “the European Union considers that the Presidential elections in Belarus were fundamentally flawed.”

24/03/2006 :: The declaration was published on behalf of the Austrian Presidency in Brussels and Vienna three days after the Sunday 19 March elections in the former Soviet republic. The declaration states that the EU had taken note of the preliminary conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission, which notably states that the Belarus Presidential elections failed to meet OSCE commitments for democratic elections.

In particular, OSSE points to the arbitrary use of state power, the suppression of individual voices, the vote count and the pattern of intimidation. Against this information, the EU will consider measures against those reasonable for the violations. These actions will be closely coordinated with the EUs international partners, in particular with the US. Moreover, the text emphasizes that the EU is interested in strengthening the relations with the Belarusian people.

In addition to the EU Member states and Norway, the remaining two EFTA countries Lichtenstein and Iceland has aligned with the declaration, as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

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