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Belarus

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made through diplomatic channels to the State of Belarus about the suspension of parliamentary democracy within that country. [13101]

We regularly make clear to the Belarus authorities our concerns over the constitutional and human rights situation in Belarus. Our ambassador in Minsk reiterated these concerns to Foreign Minister Antanovich at a meeting in September and officials from this Department made similar points to Deputy Foreign Minister Martynov in London in September.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent contacts there have been between Her Majesty's Government and the state of Belarus. [13100]

Following the disputed constitutional referendum of November 1996, the EU General Affairs Council adopted Conclusions in February 1997, in accordance with which we have had no Ministerial contacts with Belarus. Officials from this Department made clear to Deputy Foreign Minister Martynov in London in September our concerns about the constitutional and human rights situation.