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Belarus: Politics and Government

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 901237, tabled on 15 June 2021

What diplomatic steps he is taking to support the operation of political opposition in Belarus.

Answered on

15 June 2021

We support the opposition’s struggle to seek a democratic future for all Belarusians through peaceful means. We strongly condemn the ongoing repression and human rights violations committed by the Lukashenko regime. The Government has increased financial support to civil society organisations and independent media. We have provided over £1m in 2020, and an additional £1.8m this financial year to support civil society and media freedom in Belarus. We have imposed over 90 sanctions designations in response to the fraudulent elections and human rights violations in Belarus and we are actively considering further designations. Following the FR4978 flight, the UK took clear decisive action:

    • We suspended the operating permit of Belavia airlines.

    • We banned Belarusian airlines from UK airspace without prior authorisation

    • We have advised all UK airlines to avoid flying over Belarus.

The Foreign Secretary discussed the political situation in Belarus and further measures the UK might take with the opposition leader in exile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya 2 June. The UK pressed for a fact finding investigation by ICAO, the international organisation responsible for civil aviation, which was established on 27 May.

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