Marek Henryk Migalski (ECR). – (PL) Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, as you will recall, two weeks ago in Strasbourg, we postponed the vote on the statement on Belarus for two weeks. This was done the day after Mr Lukashenko waived his right to show clemency to the two men accused of carrying out the attack on the Minsk metro. I argued then that this would be read in Minsk as a sign of weakness. Unfortunately, this is what happened. The day after we postponed the adoption of this statement, the two young people accused of the attack in Minsk were executed by shooting. In my opinion, this is a lesson which proves how we should proceed with Belarus and Mr Lukashenko. I hope we will never again let up in our efforts for the people of Belarus to live in democracy and freedom, as they are entitled to do. Today, I would like to ask Members to endorse the resolution. I hope and am sure you will do so.
Jacek Protasiewicz (PPE). – (PL) Madam President, I would like very briefly to comment on what Mr Migalski has said. I do support the appeal for us to vote on all the amendments and the text of the resolution today, but I do not agree with Mr Migalski’s opinion that our decision two weeks ago was a sign of weakness which brought about the executions. The executions were, in all likelihood, carried out before our decision, at the beginning of the Strasbourg week. Executions in Belarus are carried out in secret. We do not know exactly when they took place. It is therefore not a fair insinuation to suggest that our decision two weeks ago caused the situation to deteriorate. Two weeks ago, we were counting on a change in Belarusian policy. This has not been forthcoming. Today, we are giving a clear signal that we do not consent to what is going on in Belarus. I would like to urge Members to endorse the resolution.
Kristian Vigenin (S&D). – Madam President, I am not going to comment. I support what Mr Protasiewicz just said but yesterday evening, at the last moment, the ECR Group introduced split votes on two amendments, No 6 and No 2. The Socialist Group was not able to react because of this, but now I would like to ask for a roll-call vote on the second part of both amendments. It is about the death penalty, a fundamental issue for the EU. Now we have the chance to show again our commitment to its abolition and we want this to happen in a clear, transparent and decisive way.
Gerard Batten (EFD). – Madam President, I object to there being a roll-call vote because we have had this before. There is a clear procedure for requesting a roll-call vote. If people want one, then they should follow that. If we allow a roll-call vote on this because somebody requests it, then we could all request roll-call votes on all the bits that interest us, could we not?
(The request for a roll-call vote was not accepted as more than 40 MEPs opposed it)