Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with Democratic Opposition Leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya of Belarus
May 24, 2021
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke today with democratic opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya of Belarus. Mr. Sullivan conveyed the United States' strong support for the demands of the Belarusian people for democracy, human rights, and fundamental freedoms. Mr. Sullivan praised the bravery and selfless sacrifice of democratic leaders like Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, her husband, Syarhey, and the hundreds of other Belarusian democracy activists, independent journalists, and civil society leaders who languish in Belarusian jails as political prisoners of the Lukashenka regime. Mr. Sullivan strongly condemned the brazen and dangerous grounding of a Ryanair flight between two EU member states on May 23 and the subsequent removal and detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich. Mr. Sullivan cited the U.S. demand for the immediate release of Mr. Pratasevich and all political prisoners in Belarus, as well as the need for free and fair elections under OSCE observation to resolve the current crisis. Finally, Mr. Sullivan made clear that the United States, in coordination with the EU and other allies and partners, will hold the Lukashenka regime to account.
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