Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-03-23-Speech-4-016"

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". Madam President, the matter of primary importance as far as I am concerned is that the message is clear, that is, the message from all the European institutions that these elections were a farce. There is no credible proof of Mr Lukashenko’s claim to have won the election. He has held on to power by means of fraud. That is the truth of the matter. The people are being taken in less and less by this deception; otherwise, tens of thousands of them would not have assembled in October Square on the evening of Sunday’s elections in spite of threats by President Lukashenko and the secret services. These people in October Square are our great hope in Belarus, and so I should like to extend a very special greeting to them from this House, as they are our future partners. For this reason, our top priority is to recognise these people as partners, support their democratic activities and ensure that, if they are arrested, a visa ban is imposed on those who arrest them. After all, these people are doing nothing more than exercising their democratic right to freedom of expression and manifesting their desire to live in a democracy. I should also like to raise the subject of Russia once more. It is imperative to put the issue of how to proceed as regards Belarus on the agenda of the forthcoming G8 Summit as a special item. Anyone who continues to blindly support Belarus and President Lukashenko cannot be a serious partner for the EU. Belarus is standing in the way of a good relationship between Russia and the EU, which means that this has to be discussed. I expect the Presidency to report to us on how these talks have gone. This is the only way to take a step forward and to support those holding out in October Square."@en1

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