European Parliament adopts resolution on the situation in Belarus calling on the EU to impose robust sanctions

17 September 2020 | TUT.BY

The European Parliament members voted to adopt a resolution on the situation in Belarus condemning our country’s current authorities, expressing support for the opposition and calling for sanctions against the top Belarusian authorities.

Image illustrative.
Source: Reuters via TUT.BY

European parliamentarians voted to adopt the draft resolution rejecting the results of the elections held in Belarus on 9 August, which, to quote the document, were conducted in flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards. The resolution also includes language about not recognizing Alexander Lukashenko as president of Belarus once his current term of office expires.

The resolution welcomes the activities of the Coordination Council headed by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, calling it “an interim representation of the people… open to all political and social stakeholders.” The resolution calls on the EU leadership to provide assistance to the council, and demands the immediate release of the arrested members.

The adopted resolution expresses the European Parliament’s support for the people of Belarus in their demands for free and fair elections, and considers it necessary to enlist the support of independent media and civil society to peacefully resolve the crisis that has been evolving in our country. The document calls for the immediate release of political prisoners and all persons arbitrarily detained and currently under arrest, as well as for an independent investigation into all cases of torture and protest-related deaths.

The parliamentarians also urge the EU leadership and its member countries to develop targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violence perpetrated by the security forces against civilians, as well as for the falsification of the election results, including Alexander Lukashenko as well as Russian citizens who are directly involved in supporting the Belarusian regime.

The document warns against the use of national, religious, ethnic and other minorities as targets of information war, diverting public attention from the electoral fraud and subsequent mass protests and persecutions.

The European Parliament’s resolution condemns the “hybrid interference of Russia in Belarus, notably delegating so-called media experts to the Belarusian state media, advisers to the military and law enforcement agencies.” It also calls on the government of the Russian Federation to stop all interference in our country’s internal processes and to respect international law and the sovereignty of Belarus.

The document calls for a stop to the financial support for the Belarusian regime, including stopping European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans to the current regime. Instead, it urges support for human rights defenders, activists and civil society in Belarus and for our country’s citizens applying for asylum in the EU, as well as students expelled from universities for their pro-democratic stance.

The MEPs welcome the OSCE’s proposal to assist in organizing a dialogue and insist that the Belarusian authorities accept this offer.

EU member states and institutions are also invited to commit multi-billion Euro financial packages to support future reforms and economic restructuring.

574 deputies voted to adopt the resolution, 37 voted against, 82 abstained.

The adopted resolution is “non-binding” – it is advisory in nature and not legally binding on the EU institutions and member states, instead serving as a political guide for them.