Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine urge Belarus not to use force against protesters

Anna Ivanova/PAP

The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have called on Belarus authorities to refrain from using force amid mass protests following the contested re-election victory of President Alexander Lukashenko.

"We are deeply concerned with the escalation of the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections and call upon the authorities to refrain from the use of force and to release all those detained last night," Poland's Jacek Czaputowicz, Lithuania's Linas Linkevicius and Ukraine's Dmytro Kuleba said in a joint statement published on the Polish foreign ministry website on Monday evening.

They added that respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights, democracy and rule of law is essential for further development of an independent and sovereign Belarus, which they fully support.

The three ministers said tensions in Belarus could be resolved only through dialogue.

"The well-being and prosperity of Belarus and its people are important for the whole of Europe and specifically our region. We are all interested in continuing mutually beneficial dialogue as well as cooperation based upon democratic values and focused on creating conditions for a common and stable future," the statement read.