Meeting with heads of OSCE mission to observe Belarus’ parliamentary elections

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The forthcoming session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk should be an important step on the way towards ensuring stability and security in the European region, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with the heads of the OSCE mission to observe the parliamentary elections in Belarus on 20 December.

“The issues of security and cooperation, their interrelation should be in the spotlight today like never before. There can be no security without cooperation. As they say, if we continue to mistrust each other and talk to each other through the fence, there will be no security in the region,” the President said.

“We must do our best to make our region a safe place,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “You see what is going on in the world: every day is the day of tension in international relations, and we must value our region, your homeland and Belarus as safe and good countries where we can live peacefully and work well.”

Besides, the participants of the meeting discussed the issues connected with the OSCE/ODIHR final report on the parliamentary elections in Belarus.

“There were presidential and then parliamentary elections in Belarus. You, your representatives and observers were present at those elections. We have discussed these issues a lot; you have made your conclusions. I cannot say that we were either too disappointed or particularly happy about your findings,” the President remarked. “I think that we need to have a sincere and serious discussion of the topic of elections in order to avoid excessive expectations both on your side and our side.”

“We need to honestly and sincerely say how we will act in these acute periods of the pre-election and election campaigns and how we will improve our election legislation. And you, I hope, will express your opinion about the elections. I think that I will be able to provide convincing facts to prove that the situation with the elections in Belarus is, first of all, not worse than in other countries. Secondly, the elections are an important subject which should be treated in a very serious way,” the head of state said.

Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE Special Coordinator for the parliamentary elections in Belarus and Head of the Swedish parliamentary delegation in the OSCE PA Kent Harstedt thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for the meeting. “It is a very important signal. We have got a chance to discuss everything in detail,” Kent Harstedt said. The OSCE does its best to be a constructive partner for Belarus.