European Parliament Adopted Sanctions Resolution against Minsk

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The European Parliament voted for the resolution calling on the EU to impose tough sanctions against the Lukashenko regime. On Thursday, September 17, the European Parliament voted by a majority vote for a resolution calling on the structures of the European Union to impose tough sanctions against representatives of the Republic of Belarus authorities. As reported DW’s correspondent from Brussels, the resolution on the situation in the Republic of Belarus at the plenary meeting in Brussels was supported by 574 MEPs, 37 deputies voted against, another 82 abstained. Thus, the European Parliament joined the official position of the European Union that the presidential elections on August 9 in Belarus were rigged. Proceeding from this, it "does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as President of Belarus after his current term of office expires." The resolution recalls that Lukashenko's presidential term will end on November 5, 2020. At the same time, the former candidate for the presidency of Belarus Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was not called the "elected president" of the country in the European Parliament, as some politicians do. However, the text of the document notes that "many Belarusians consider Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya the winner of the presidential elections and the elected president of Belarus." The resolution "welcomes the Coordination Council as a temporary representation of people demanding democratic changes in Belarus." The European Parliament recalled that the Coordination Council was created as a temporary partner in the national dialogue with the aim of organizing new elections. EU sanctions for repression in Belarus The European Parliament called on "without delay" imposing sanctions against high-ranking Belarus officials for electoral fraud and repression. As you know, the EU Council is preparing such a sanctions list, which already includes more than 30 names. The European Parliament called for expanding this list to include not only Lukashenko but also "a significant number of both high-ranking officials and middle-level officials and entrepreneurs who are known to support the regime or have fired their employees for participating in strikes." In addition to this, the resolution invites the EU Council to consider the possibility of including Russian citizens "directly involved in supporting the Lukashenko regime in Belarus" in this sanctions list. Financial support for civil society in Belarus MEPs called on the European Commission to freeze all financial payments to the government of Belarus. It is also about stopping loans to Minsk from the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. At the same time, the resolution speaks of the need to increase financial support for civil society in Belarus. “The European Parliament recommends that the EU organize a donor conference for a democratic Belarus with the participation of international financial organizations, G7 countries, EU states and institutions and everyone who wants to promise a multi-billion-dollar financial package to support reforms and economic restructuring,” the resolution says. In addition, the European Parliament considers it necessary to open a humanitarian corridor for people forced to flee Belarus for political reasons. The resolution also calls for the provision of support to Belarusians who have suffered as a result of violence and who need treatment. Protests in Belarus against the results of the presidential elections Immediately after preliminary results of the August 9th presidential elections were announced, mass peaceful protests began in the republic. Speeches of citizens defending their votes and convinced of election results being falsificated, are suppressed by riot police and special forces. At the same time, during first days after elections, the security forces acted with unprecedented brutality.