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European Commission explains how 65 million euros were spent to support Belarus
Where's the money? / unsplash.com
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is regularly asked about the money referring to the funds allocated by the European Union to Belarusian civil society and independent media. Tsikhanouskaya's office explains: we only help to draw up applications and search for funding to help Belarusians. They say they do not pocket the money and do not even distribute it.
In order to stop the "money squabble", Euroradio submitted an inquiry to the European Commission. We asked them to answer what happens to the funds that the EU allocates to the Belarusians.
"Since the falsified 2020 presidential elections, we have significantly scaled-down and redirected the EU financial support away from the Belarusian authorities. At the same time, we have mobilized close to EUR 65 million in direct support to the Belarusian people that has been channeled through a number of trusted implementing partners and international organizations. - In the immediate aftermath of the [Lukashenko regime's] rigged elections, €3.7 million were allocated to provide emergency aid to victims of repression and independent media.
The EU then dedicated €30 million of support in 2020 and a further €30 million in 2021 directed in particular to civil society and independent media inside and outside Belarus, youth, small businesses, the healthcare sector and cultural actors. This breakdown shows it is obvious that the claims that almost all of the money went to one recipient are not credible.
Moreover, last year President von der Leyen announced a €3 billion comprehensive plan of economic support, designed, once a future democratic transition takes place, to stabilize the Belarusian economy, unlock growth potential, create jobs, and democratize the country's institutions. [referring to the plan of economic support for Belarus after Lukashenka's resignation - Euroradio].
Following the falsification of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus and more recently in the wake of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine supported by the Lukashenka regime, the European Union has been united in its response to the actions of the Belarusian authorities, stresses Paloma Caballero from European External Action Service. The EU and its Member States are committed to keeping Belarus high on the international agenda and continue to play a leading role in supporting the people of Belarus, both politically and financially".