Lithuania ‘ready to act as mediator’ in Belarus, says president

Lithuania is ready to act as a mediator to resolve the crisis in Belarus, LIthuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said on Tuesday.

“We don’t have much time and we need to take measures as soon as possible for the process to be taken under control and brought back to a civilised framework,” Nausėda said.

“Lithuania is ready to mediate in this process. We are committed to do that not only because of our historic closeness and neighboorhood but also by the fact that we have granted asylum to opposition leaders,” he added.

“Therefore, we will definitely not stay indifferent and we will take all steps at the diplomatic level to have contact with all sides for the mediation process to be effective as it needs several elements: first of all, the readiness of the Belarusian government itself to talk, the representation of the opposition and, of course, an active role of mediators,” said Nausėda.

According to the Lithuanian president, the European Union could also send a representative to directly negotiate with the Belarusian government.

Nausėda discussed such idea during a phone conversation with President of the European Council Charles Michel on Tuesday.

“Michel promised to come back with proposals,” Nausėda said in a statement. “An extraordinary meeting of the European Council is also a possible alternative,” as well as minister-level EU meeting, according to Nausėda.

Lithuania and Poland have made calls in recent days to hold an extraordinary EU summit on the situation in Belarus.

Clashes between security forces and protesters have taken three days in a row across Belarus, sparked by Sunday’s presidential election that gave a landslide victory to the country’s authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko who was re-elected for a sixth term. The opposition say the results were rigged.


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