To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to pursue the ambition of free and fair elections in Belarus since November 2020; and what assessment he has made of the effect of controls on the capacity of the Government in Belarus to raise capital using (a) the London Stock Exchange and (b) other UK financial institutions.
10 March 2021
The UK is working with our international partners to promote a political settlement in Belarus, which is acceptable to the Belarusian people. We continue to put pressure on the regime through sanctions, including on economic actors, and raising our concerns in international fora, including the OSCE, the UN Human Rights Council and informal Arria-formula meetings of the UN Security Council. We are supporting and promoting the democratic and political rights of the Belarusian people, through increased funding to civil society organisations, including independent media. On 1 February, the Foreign Secretary expressed the UK's support for new elections in his call with the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The UK is one of the largest shareholders in the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The Bank has announced it will not support further Belarusian sovereign projects. Like the EBRD, we remain committed to supporting investment into the Belarusian economy where it supports the Belarusian people. Controls on the UK financial markets and institutions falls within the mandate of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).