Statement by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on the developments in Belarus
I take a very serious view of the developments in Belarus. The presidential election of 9 August was neither free nor fair, and I condemn the violence and arrests used against peaceful demonstrators, for which the Belarusian regime and authorities are responsible.
The extremely widespread demonstrations we have seen in Belarus in recent days show very clearly that the Belarusian people do not accept the announced election result, and are seeking democratic change and reform.
Before the election, the Swedish Government made it clear that the election must be conducted in accordance with international standards.
Since the election, we have been a driving force in the European Union for resolute action, including sanctions targeting those responsible for electoral fraud and abuses.
The EU has acted decisively and has begun drawing up targeted sanctions. On Wednesday, an extraordinary meeting of the European Council will be held on Belarus, and I will continue to push for an active and clear EU response.
We stand united with the Belarusian people, and fully support their right to decide over their own future and freely elect their leaders. It is vital that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus and the will of the Belarusian people are respected by all.