Russia Calls on Minsk to Join Moratorium on Death Penalty

2012 2012-03-20T11:03:48+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Russia wants all European countries including Belarus to join the moratorium on the death penalty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his interview with radio station Kommersant FM.

Belarus executed two men last weekend who had been convicted for a deadly subway bombing in the Belarusian capital in April last year, Belarusian news agency Belta reported on Sunday.

“Of course the fight against terrorism should be ruthless. At the same time our attitude towards the death penalty is well known," Lavrov said. "We have declared a moratorium on the death penalty. At this point there are special decisions that were adopted by the Constitutional Court and the Russian government is committed to this moratorium. In principle we would be interested in all European countries joining such a moratorium.”

Lavrov said that the abolition of the death penalty is “a complex” and “an ambiguous” issue and is “a decision for each state.”

“In my opinion the best decision at this stage is to have the moratorium,” Lavrov said.

“I am convinced that the movement of Belarus towards full membership of the European Council will provide a solution to the problem of the death penalty because one of the conditions for participation in the European Council is its abolishment,” he added.