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Belarus: the Nordic Council wants to keep contact with both members of the opposition and human rights defenders

"Following the events after the presidential election in Belarus in 2010, the Nordic Council has suspended contact with the regime," said Marit Nybakk, President of the Nordic Council, addressing the Standing Committee in Vienna today. "However, our organisation wants to keep the contact with both members of the opposition and human rights groups based in Belarus and in Vilnius."

The Nordic Council follows developments in Belarus through different channels. Up to 2010 it was "a promising development in Belarus to a more open and sensible dialogue between different sides. The dialogue between the Nordic Council, the Belarussian Parliament and the opposition showed a sound development. The Parliament of Belarus had even set up a special delegation for contact and co-operation with our organisation. However, the events in December 2010 put a temporary stop to these contacts," Mrs Nybakk said.

With a more positive development within Belarus, the Nordic Council is prepared to launch a programme of co-operation with the Parliament of Belarus and with the members of the opposition.