Jan Marinus Wiersma: full support for democratic opposition in Belarus

Thu 6 Apr 2006

The Vice-President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, Jan Marinus Wiersma, has assured Belarus opposition leader, Aliaksander Milinkievich and all those detained by the Minsk regime of his Group's full support.

Mr Wiersma said "Lukashenka has no democratic credentials and should be removed from power. I am in favour of the visa ban and indeed we should consider extending it. Perhaps a freeze on certain goods would make the elite feel the heat.

"We should not forget the role of Russia here. I welcome the ongoing dialogue with Moscow but we should include the question of Belarus in our discussions. It should not be forgotten that Mr Putin sent his congratulations to Mr Lukashenka. "We should consider how to give practical support to the democratic opposition in Belarus," Mr Wiersma concluded.