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EPP Statement on Belarus

Statement adopted by the EPP Political Assembly on 10 March 2023
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For decades, the European People ́s Party (EPP) has been supporting the Belarusian democratic move- ment and stands in solidarity with all brave people who continue their fight for human dignity, freedom, democracy and independence of Belarus. We believe that a decisive moment for Belarusians to part with the authoritarian past is near. We stand firm on the principle of openness of the European Union to the Belarusian citizens both in Bela- rus and those, who seek protection in our countries from the Lukashenka’s regimes. At the same time, we confirm our position that Lukashenka and the state officials of Belarus must stand to responsibility for all crimes committed against Belarusians and war crimes against Ukraine. We express solidarity with all Belarusian political prisoners, and at this occasion, in particular, with Siarhei Tsikhanouski (Country for Life), Mikalai Statkevich (Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People’s Assem- bly), Pavel Seviarynets (Belarusian Christian Democracy), who by now spent more than 1000 days and Mar- fa Rabkova (Spring96) more than 900 days in prison. We also remember United Civil Party leader, Mikalai Kazlou, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail after spending almost 7 months in the pre-trial detention, and with them unfortunately many other colleagues. We express indignation at the shocking illegal sentences handed down to Ales Bialatski, Nobel Peace Prize winner (10 years of prison), and his colleagues, Valentin Stefanovich (9 years) and Vladimir Labkovich (7 years). As well as we condemn the sentences to Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya (15 years), Pavel Latushka (18 years), Maria Maroz, Volha Kavalkova and Siarhei Dyleuski (12 years each) in prison as the result of the trial in absentia within the Coordination Council case. We demand justice for Andrzej Poczobut, journalist, and representative of the “Union of Poles” in Belarus, as the Lukashenka regime has given him a verdict of 8 years of prison. The number of political prisoners, which is close to 2000, speaks for itself – the regime takes revenge for the defeat in the 2020 presidential election. Increasing confrontation with the opponents and citizens of Belarus is a path to disaster, isolation and loss of independence. To strengthen the Belarusian representation on the international scene and in the work of international or- ganisations we insist on the importance to formalise the relationship between the Belarusian democratic forces and the European Parliament. In this regards the establishment of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus and the Coordination Council as trusted and constructive partners will help to address the chal- lenges of regional and bilateral EU-Belarus relations. We call therefore for a renewed, official democratic Belarusian representation to the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly and to the Delegation for relations with Belarus. Slava Ukraini! Zhyvie Belarus!

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