MEPs call on Commission and Council of the EU to impose economic sanctions

The overwhelming majority of MEPs present at the plenary session in Strasbourg adopted another resolution on Belarus on May 12. The European Parliament calls on the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs “to impose wider sanctions on the Belarusian regime including the introduction of targeted economic sanctions”.

The European Parliament considers all the accusations of mass disorders arbitrary and politically motivated. The resolution stresses that the trials were unfair:  detainees were refused the opportunity to meet with their legal representation on a regular basis and the authorities failed to prove the guilt of the accused.

It describes the charges against the former presidential candidates, including Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu, Vital Rymasheuski, Mikalai Statkevich, Dzmitry Us, and Andrei Sannikau as illegal and inadmissible and urges the Belarusian authorities to acquit the candidates and free them from any further persecution.
The document also condemns the Belarusian authorities for the absence of an independent investigation of the excessive use of force by the police and security agencies directed against demonstrators and for the refusal to allow the work of a special mission under the aegis of the OSCE.

The European Parliament also expresses concern about the situation for mass media. It notes the increasing pressure exercised on independent mass media and journalists. It urges the authorities to release journalist Andrzej Pachobut, to stop the impending closure of the "Narodnaya Volya" and "Nasha Niva" weeklies, and to refrain from limiting the access to two independent portals, Charter '97 and Belarusian Partisan.

Furthermore, the resolution urges not to create obstacles in the way of Russian and Ukrainian human rights defenders and not to discredit the Belarusian ones recalling state mass media and Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s recent statement about “the fifth column in the country”.

MEPs also draw the attention of the other EU bodies to the fact that “the EU needs to find new ways to assist the Belarusian civil community, avoid a dissent in the political opposition and support a political alternative to Lukashenka in this situation of unexampled repressions”.


Let us remind you that the European Parliament also called on the European Commission and Council of the EU to impose targeted economic sanctions in its two previous resolutions this year (on January 20 and March 10). The European Ministers of Foreign Affairs have not gone beyond travel bans on the EU territory yet.