February 11, 2021

The Lukashenka regime opened its “All-Belarusian People’s Assembly” on February 11, which it claims includes representatives from across Belarus for the purpose of determining the country’s priorities for the next five years and may consider possible amendments to the country’s constitution. Yet this “All-Belarusian People’s Assembly” is neither genuine nor inclusive of Belarusian views and therefore does not address the country’s ongoing political crisis.  The government has jailed Belarusian protest leaders, activists, and dissidents – often on falsified charges – and forcibly exiled others.  The political prisoners, those in exile, and the estimated 30,000 others arrested since August 2020 deserve the right to a voice in determining their country’s future through a genuine, inclusive dialogue – as well as through free and fair elections.

The OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism Report provides a clear, specific road map to inclusiveness, and the United States urges the regime to accept the OSCE Chairmanship’s offer to facilitate a genuine, inclusive national dialogue .  Accepting and implementing the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism recommendations could turn Belarus toward a path to political reconciliation, stability, and democratic progress.