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Formal diplomatic relations were established between Canada and Belarus in April 1992. Canada's overall relations with Belarus have remained relatively modest. Canada is represented in Belarus through the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
Since the August 2020 presidential election, Canada has been increasingly concerned about the ongoing allegations of gross and systematic human rights violations throughout Belarus and the targeted violence against peaceful protestors, opposition members, journalists and human rights defenders.
Canada continues to actively engage with all partners to find a way toward positive change in Belarus, including through advocacy efforts, support for dialogue and mediation, and funding to civil society. Canada is working with international partners, as well as in multilateral forums such as at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Media Freedom Coalition, and Freedom Online Coalition. Canada was one of 17 countries to invoke the OSCE's Moscow Mechanism in September 2020 to investigate human rights violations in Belarus.
Sanctions have been imposed under the Special Economic Measures Act in response to the gross and systematic human rights violations that have been committed in Belarus.
Canada's commercial ties with Belarus are limited. Overall merchandise trade between Canada and Belarus totalled $48,7 million in 2021. Canadian exports to Belarus, which reached $15,8 million in 2021, consisted primarily of animals & animal Products, machinery and mechanical or electrical products and food products. Canadian imports from Belarus were valued at $32,9 million in 2021 and were comprised mainly of miscellaneous articles and raw materials (wood, mineral and base metal products).
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today's most pressing global challenges, Canada and Belarus work in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
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