Formalise relations with Belarusian democratic opposition

12.09.2023 10:06

Formalise relations with Belarusian democratic opposition

Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa

The EU and its Member States should allow the representatives of the Belarusian democratic forces to take up the empty seats left by Lukashenka’s regime in democratic international organisations. They should also develop a more ambitious and holistic strategy towards Belarus, coupled with a broad economic plan that would provide support to the Belarusian democratic forces.

The EPP Group fully supports the declarations of European aspirations of Belarusians made by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and the leaders of the Belarusian democratic political parties. But condemns that Lukashenka’s regime is using migration as a purposefully orchestrated reprisal against Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for their support for the democratic opposition. The current situation at the border with these EU countries is perhaps the most tense since 2021. There are indications that it will worsen.

“The EU and its Member States should formalise relations with the Belarusian democratic opposition. Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s regime is responsible not only for stealing the elections, but for giving Belarus away to Russia. We are greatly concerned about the rampant political, economic, military and cultural subordination of Belarus to Moscow. The EU needs to broaden and strengthen the scope of its sanctions, including by cutting all ties with the regime and installing dialogue with real representatives of the country”, said Sandra Kalniete MEP, who, on behalf of the EPP Group, negotiated the Report on the EU’s relation with Belarus.

The text, to be voted on by the European Parliament on Wednesday, also strongly denounces the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children to camps in Belarus. “This is a crime against humanity, the crime of deportation or forcible transfer of population under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Lukashenka should be treated in the same way as Vladimir Putin”, Kalniete insisted. “We want the ICC to issue a similar international warrant for Lukashenka’s arrest, as it did for Vladimir Putin, for the abduction of Ukrainian children”, she concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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