Statement by the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, after his meeting with the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
"I welcomed today Mrs Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in the European Parliament.
"I am very happy to see that she is doing well. Unfortunately, there are thousands of Belarusians still in detention, many of whom have been tortured in their own country. For 45 days people have demonstrated on the streets demanding their right to choose the future of their country.
"The current situation is unacceptable. I call on Mr. Lukashenko to release all those detained and engage in dialogue with the Coordination Council and representatives of the Belarusian people.
"The European Parliament last week voted a resolution by a large majority calling for respect for civil, political and human rights in Belarus and to support the idea of sanctions to target the perpetrators of violence. We believe that the citizens of Belarus must be the sole authors of their destiny. The only viable solution is a peaceful transition of power.
"I am happy to reiterate my willingness to cooperate and to continue my dialogue with Mrs Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. I am very happy with her visit today to Parliament as part of her trip to Brussels to speak with the different institutions."
The video of the President’s statement is available here