Belarus

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 20th July 2004.

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Photo of Mr Michael Trend Mr Michael Trend Conservative, Windsor

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of (a) the political situation in Belarus and (b) whether the forthcoming elections will be free and fair.

Photo of Denis MacShane Denis MacShane Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The failure of the Belarussian Government to adhere to European standards in respect of human rights, freedom of expression and democracy in Belarus remains a matter of concern to the Government. It is too early to assess the likely conduct of the elections. We have made clear to the Belarussian Government that we expect the authorities in Minsk to ensure that the elections are free and fair and that international observers will be invited.

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