On 24 September 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the representatives of the Belarusian opposition – Valery Tsepkalo, who was denied registration as a presidential candidate, and Veronica Tsepkalo, his spouse and ally in the joint headquarters of the opposition candidates.
During the conversation, Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed Latvia’s position that, in the democratic world, nobody has any doubt that the presidential elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair. Neither does the inauguration ceremony on 23 September legitimise Alexander Lukashenko to assume the presidential post for the sixth term. Latvia is interested in bringing the situation in Belarus back to normal, which should take place in a democratic manner, the Minister noted. Edgars Rinkēvičs also expressed satisfaction that the representatives of the opposition have had a chance to visit Latvia. Such opportunities should be used to explain the state of play and developments in Belarus beyond its borders, including in Latvia.
Valery Tsepkalo thanked Latvia for the position it maintains and he pointed out that support from the closest neighbours is very important and highly valued indeed. He provided an insight into his current civic and political activities, and gave his perspective of the resolution to the situation. An exchange of views was held on how the events could possibly unfold, and the parties were in agreement that support from the international community is vital for the Belarusian people. The Foreign Minister, and Mr and Mrs Tsepkalo expressed hope that it would be possible to organise new presidential elections in Belarus in the presence of international observers.
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