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Lithuania supports holding the Lukashenko regime accountable


On September 18, Pavel Latushka had a meeting in Vilnius with the Deputy Minister of Justice of Lithuania Gabij Grikarte-Daugirde.

The main topic of the meeting:bringing the Lukashenko regime to justice for crimes against humanity committed against the Belarusian people.

The Lithuanian side was presented with the report “Crimes against humanity in Belarus”, prepared by the Justice Hub Center for Law and Democracy with the support of NAM. According to the report, from May 2020 to May 2023, at least 136 thousand people became victims of these crimes in Belarus.

During the meeting, legal mechanisms for holding representatives of the Lukashenko regime accountable for committing one of the most serious international crimes were discussed. During the meeting, it was noted that the following legal international mechanisms of responsibility could be used:

  • international criminal court

  • criminal prosecution within the framework of national justice of Lithuania for crimes committed on the territory of Belarus (universal jurisdiction)

  • special tribunal for Belarus.

The issues of ensuring the responsibility of the Lukashenko regime for violation of international obligations to Lithuania within the framework of the International Court of Justice (for organizing illegal migration) were discussed separately.

The head of the NAM also presented information about new facts of war crimes committed by the Lukashenko regime against Ukrainian children.

Pavel Latushka and Gabia Grikaite-Daugirde discussed the prospects for creating a tribunal for aggression committed against Ukraine and bringing Lukashenko and his accomplices to international responsibility for the act of aggression.

On the same day, Pavel Latushka met with the Director of the Department of Eastern Neighborhood Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Vitkauskas.

The purpose of the meeting is interaction on issues of international legal responsibility of the Lukashenko regime. It was noted that Lukashenko and his regime committed 3 of the 4 most serious international crimes: crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression.

Special attention was paid to the possible closure of checkpoints on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border in the event of further escalation by the regime of the situation with the use of illegal migrants.

Economic and personal sanctionsagainst the Lukashenko regime by the EU and national sanctions of Lithuania became one of the key topics of the meeting. Pavel Latushka noted thatthe introduction of a trade embargois one of the most significant instruments of pressure on the regime in order to release political prisoners.

As possible additional sanctions tools, the deputy head of the defense industry also named:

  1. Introduction of trade quotas.

  2. Freeze of correspondent bank accounts.

  3. Introduction of liability for circumventing sanctions.

  4. Expansion of sectoral sanctions.

  5. Personal sanctions against judges of the Lukashenko regime.

The issue of legalization of Belarusian citizens in Lithuania and recognition of the New Belarus passport was also the subject of a meeting at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

Separately, Pavel Latushka drew the attention of his partners to the fact that Lukashenko’s NOC and sports federations continue to violate the rights of athletes by implementing a policy of discrimination and ideological filtering. Sports officials and persons associated with them are involved in crimes, incl. military. These circumstances cannot be ignored when making decisions on the participation of athletes from Belarus in international competitions and the 2024 Olympic Games.

Pavel Latushka raised the issue of restoring the rights of Belarusian freestyle athletes who have a confirmed civic position against dictatorship and military aggression. I informed my partners that among the political prisoners there are representatives of national sports.

«The system for regulating relations in international sports demonstrates its archaic nature and inability to effectively respond to challenges. We need to act decisively and principledly, seconds and meters are not worth human lives,” said Pavel Latushka.

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