News story | Date: 26/05/2021 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega, who were arrested on Sunday after the passenger flight they were on was diverted and forced to land in Belarus, must be released immediately. The same applies to more than 400 other political dissidents who are imprisoned in Belarus,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
‘It is shocking and totally unacceptable for the Belarusian regime to forcefully divert a passenger plane in order to arrest an opponent of the regime. Norway condemns this act and the Belarusian authorities’ use of force against the Belarusian people. This act is also a violation of international norms and a threat to European security,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
‘Norway is ready to align itself with the additional EU restrictive measures when these are finalised, just as we have aligned ourselves with other EU sanctions against Belarusian officials. The international community must take a firm stance in its reaction towards the Belarusian regime,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
‘Norway will use every opportunity to draw attention to the unacceptable actions of the Belarusian authorities, and will work together with the rest of international community to continue to put pressure on President Lukashenko and his regime.
Genuine political dialogue with the opposition is the only solution to the problems in Belarus. We urge the regime to reverse its dangerous course and come to the negotiation table, with the aim of preparing the ground for new, free and fair elections, said Ms Eriksen Søreide.