Minister Garneau meets with Belarusian opposition leader 


July 6, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarusian opposition leader.

Minister Garneau reaffirmed Canada’s support for Belarus’ democratic movement and sought Ms. Tsikhanouskaya’s views regarding the ongoing human rights violations in the country. Minister Garneau reiterated the need for an international investigation into these violations. 

Minister Garneau underscored Canada’s support for democracy. He also pointed to Canada’s multifaceted support to Belarusian civil society and to recent sanctions, in coordination with the United Kingdom, United States and European Union, to maintain pressure on the Belarusian regime to end its repeated assault on the human rights and dignity of the Belarusian people.

Minister Garneau and Ms. Tsikhanouskaya unequivocally condemned the Belarusian regime’s reckless, forced diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 and the arrest of Roman Protasevich and his companion, Sofia Sapega. Both Minister Garneau and Ms. Tsikhanouskaya expressed great concern for the well-being of Mr. Protasevich, given his seemingly forced confession.

Minister Garneau and Ms. Tsikhanouskaya concluded their meeting by recalling the importance of consistent, coordinated support to Belarus’ democratic movement and, while they acknowledged that challenges lay ahead, they expressed hope for the future of Belarusian democratic ambitions.


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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