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Putin’s plans of complete occupation of Belarus must be reversed

Resolution adopted by the EPP Political Assembly on 18 November 2022
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Acknowledging that - Belarusians continue to fight for the freedom and sovereignty of their country. More than 1,600 recognised political prisoners remain incarcerated by the illegitimate regime. Arrests continue daily. The human rights organization Spring96 reports at least 420 people arrested in September 2022 alone. - Since the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine, Belarusians have been actively counteracting Russian aggression through the transfer of information about the location and movement of troops, attempts to stop trains with weapons, and anti-war street actions. - Representatives of EPP member parties (Pavel Seviarynets, Mikalai Kazlou, Antanina Kavaleva, Aksana Alyakseeva, Tatsiana and Dzmitry Kaneuski, Ihar Salavei, Pavel Spiryn, Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh, Aliaksandr Agraitsovich, Pavel Belavus, Andrei Kudzik, Mikolai Siarhienka, Ramuald Ulan, Aliaksandr Nahela, Andrei Kabanau, Artur Smaliakou, Andrei Asmalouski, Dziana Charnushyna) continue to be incarcerated in inhumane conditions. The conditions of detention even for those who are arrested for 15-30 days are actually equated with torture. - More than 300,000 Belarusians have left their homeland due to the threat of persecution, but continue to fight for democracy. Hundreds of people have joined the Kalinouski battalion and the Pahonia regiment, which are fighting on the side of Ukraine, many of whom have already gave their lives for its freedom. The Belarusian diaspora is raising money both for the fight in Belarus and for helping Ukraine. Activists continue to launch Internet projects: information campaigns for Belarus. - The illegitimate Lukashenka regime continues to oppress the Belarusian population while, at the same time, de facto ceding Belarusian sovereignty to Russia by allowing the use of its territory and transferring weapons to Russia for war against Ukraine. - Despite the clear stance of the Belarusian people, the complicity of the illegitimate Lukashenka regime in the war against Ukraine is creating misconceptions and problems for ordinary Belarusian people fleeing to Europe. We appeal to the EU Member States to offer Belarusian students scholarships and to continue supporting Belarusian civil society; - Putin’s strategy towards Belarus is the isolation of the Belarusian society from the European Union in order to completely occupy and incorporate Belarus into the Russian Federation. The European People’s Party expresses its solidarity with the people of Belarus and demands the immediate release of all political prisoners. The EPP calls on its member parties to engage in a more active communication and cooperation with the centre-right coalition of Belarus (BCD, UCP, Movement “For Freedom”) and support their role in the Belarusian Democratic Forces’ structures. - The European People’s Party further calls on the European Commission, the European Council, as well as the Member States of the European Union to counter the plans of Putin and Lukashenko and:
  1. to immediately prepare a new sanctions package against the Lukashenka regime in case he sends troops to Ukraine;
  2. to maintain maximum openness to the citizens of Belarus and continue supporting Belarusian civil society while at the same time imposing individual sanctions against those responsible for the repression and for the assistance to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine;
  3. to continue supporting the Belarusian democratic forces.
The European People’s Party declares its unwavering support for the Belarusian peoples’ desire to live in a free, democratic and sovereign Belarus.

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