The heads of European Union diplomatic missions based in Belarus will leave the country on January 21, the day of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s re-inauguration as president of Belarus, a diplomatic source told BelaPAN on Thursday.
The ambassadors will not attend the ceremony scheduled to take place at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk, the source said. They plan to pay a visit to Vilnius on January 21 instead, the diplomat said.
A three-day international conference of human rights defenders was scheduled to begin at the Lithuanian capital city on Thursday to discuss the post-election situation in Belarus.
On January 19, the European Parliament held a debate on the Belarusian government`s post-election crackdown on opponents. There was consensus that the European Union should impose tough sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, and that support for the country`s civil society and non-state media should be increased.