In the draft resolution of the European Parliament, the deputies call for the immediate introduction of effective economic sanctions against the regime in Minsk. They insist on the immediate release of all political prisoners in Belarus.
The European Parliament may advocate the introduction of significant economic sanctions against the regime of the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. “The European Parliament calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Roman Protasevich and Sophia Sapega, as well as all other journalists and political prisoners in Belarus,” Interfax quotes the draft resolution of the EU parliament, which will be voted on at the plenary session on Thursday, June 10.
In this document, the MEPs call on the EU Council to immediately introduce “economic sanctions, which should be substantial and have the maximum possible and immediate impact on the Belarusian regime.” These measures should be directed against both state-owned companies and private ones, controlled by Minsk, or firing employees for participating in protests or strikes.
The draft resolution proposes to introduce sectoral sanctions against enterprises working with oil and oil products, as well as in the potash, steel and woodworking industries; stop cooperation with Belarusian state banks and a number of other measures.
MEPs also expressed concern about “Russia’s attachment to the Lukashenka regime, including financial support and close cooperation between the special services.”
Forcing the Ryanair liner to land in Minsk
The Ryanair incident took place on 23 May. The dispatchers of the Minsk international airport forced the Ryanair airline board, flying from Athens to Vilnius, to urgently land in the capital of Belarus, saying that they had information about the bomb on board.
The message about mining turned out to be false, but after the landing of the liner, two passengers were detained – the former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Telegram channel Roman Protasevich and his companion, a Russian citizen Sofya Sapega.
On May 24, the EU countries agreed on sanctions against Minsk, implying, among other things, a ban on the use of the airspace and EU airports by Belarusian airlines. In addition, the EU Council called on European airlines to avoid flights over the territory of Belarus. Foreign ministers of the G7 countries, head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell, as well as representatives of a number of countries and international organizations condemned arresting of Protasevich.
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