The Committee on Foreign Affairs in Lithuania’s Seimas has expressed regret that the current Belarusian authorities "show no respect" for democratic values.
There are still political prisoners in Belarus, with the authorities continuing politically motivated persecutions, clamping down on press freedom and freedom of assembly, refusing to amend the Electoral Code, and putting barriers to the activities of non-governmental organizations and political parties, the parliamentary committee said in a statement issued on December 21 on the occasion of 20 years since Lithuania recognized the independence of Belarus.
"Since the times of the Great Duchy of Litva, the Lithuanian and Belarusian peoples have been closely connected to each other", it said.
The Committee said that it wanted Belarus to become an independent, democratic, European country that respects human rights and international commitments, as well as joins political and economic alliances through the free expression of the people’s will.
"As a democratic state, Lithuania is ready to further support the initiatives of Belarus’ civil society that are aimed at building a democratic state and strengthening civil society", it added.