The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, has on Friday backed an initiative to send a delegation to the Belarusian capital Minsk, according to the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Juozas Bernatonis.
The parliamentary foreign affairs committee “unanimously agreed that it will be purposeful to send such a delegation when such a possibility comes, and we will coordinate the programme with the Foreign Ministry" the committee chairman, member of the Social Democratic Labour Party, told BNS.
"Upon arrival, we need to do something, not just walk around Minsk. And to do that, we need to see who we could meet with, who we could mediate between, if we have a mediation possibility. It’s difficult to say now as the situation is changing every day," said MP Bernatonis from
Read more: Inside Minsk. Swarms of OMON use ambulances and extreme violence to supress dissent
MP Žygimantas Pavilionis of the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats says the delegation may depart as early as next week.
"I am glad the initiative has been approved. We have submitted a delegation list including representatives of almost all parties, and we agreed to look for a suitable date for such a visit. After the meeting, I spoke with representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian parliament on Belarus, and one of the options is to go next week," Pavilionis told BNS.
"We do hope the Belarusian regime will let us in. In any case, we will go to see the people and talk to representatives of the people who had their right to vote taken from them and it is now being brutally destroyed," he said.
The conservatives, who initiated the proposal, said the delegation should be headed by Gediminas Kirkilas, the chairman of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, and include MPs Žygimantas Pavilionis, Ingrida Šimonytė, Emanuelis Zingeris, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Tomas Tomilinas, Valerijus Simulik, Gintaras Vaičekauskas, Rasa Budbergytė and Ausrinė Armonaitė.
Lithuanian MPs will also meet on Tuesday to gold an emergency session on the situation in Belarus.
At the emergency session, representatives of the Belarusian civil society and the opposition will inform the Seimas about the human rights and political situation in the country and what international support they expect.
The parliament is expected to declare that Lithuania does not recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus, to call on the Lithuanian government and the European Union as a whole to impose sanctions against Belarusian officials, and to discuss assistance to Belarusian citizens affected by the repressions.