The meeting in Stockholm, a continuation of a series of annual meetings hosted by the Nordic Council, was attended by representatives of the Belarussian opposition, MPs and NGOs.
“The Nordic Council considers these meetings between the various groups in Belarus highly valuable, and we are happy to provide a platform for them. We support democracy and dialogue in Belarus,” says the President of the Nordic Council, Jessica Polfjärd, who hosted the meeting.
Polfjärd stresses that the situation in Belarus is still serious.
“We are deeply concerned about threats to freedom of assembly and expression and to the media. We are also worried about the way sexual minorities are treated. Some reports mark Belarus out as the worst country in Europe for gay rights.”
Belarus can move closer to the Nordic Region.
Polfjärd stresses the proximity of Belarus to the Nordic and Baltic regions geographically and to a certain extent culturally and underlines that Belarus could find itself even closer to the others if it opted to move in a more democratic direction.
Representatives from the Baltic Assembly (Baltic interparliamentary body) and the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) and the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Vilnius also attended the meeting.
The Nordic Council representatives were Jessica Polfjärd (Conservative Group), Vice-president Gunilla Carlsson (Social Democratic Group), Erkki Tuomioja (Nordic Council rapporteur for Belarus (Social Democrat Group), Pyry Niemi (Social Democrat Group), Hans Wallmark (Conservative Group) and Jorodd Asphjell ( Social Democrat Group and President of the BSPC).