Motion for a resolution - B9-0271/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Belarus

14.9.2020 - (2020/2779(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Sandra Kalniete, Michael Gahler, Željana Zovko, Paulo Rangel, David McAllister, Jerzy Buzek, Andrius Kubilius, Radosław Sikorski, Andrzej Halicki, Vladimír Bilčík, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, David Lega, Andrey Kovatchev, Arba Kokalari, Rasa Juknevičienė, Tomasz Frankowski, Eugen Tomac, Roberta Metsola
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0271/2020

Procedure : 2020/2779(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Belarus


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the launch of the Eastern Partnership in Prague on 7 May 2009 as a common endeavour of the EU and its six Eastern European Partners Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine,

 having regard to the Joint Declarations of the Eastern Partnership Summits of 2009 in Prague, 2011 in Warsaw, 2013 in Vilnius, 2015 in Riga and 2017 in Brussels,

 having regard to the EU Global Strategy and the revised European Neighbourhood Policy,

 having regard to its resolutions on Belarus, in particular those of 24 November 2016[1] and 6 April 2017[2] on the situation in Belarus, of 19 April 2018 on Belarus[3], and of 4 October 2018 on the deterioration of media freedom in Belarus, notably the case of Charter 97[4],

 having regard to the presidential election that took place in Belarus on 9 August,

 having regard to the statement of the President of the European Parliament of 13 August and of the leaders of the five political groups of 17 August on the situation in Belarus following the presidential election of 9 August,

 having regard to the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of 14 August and of the European Council of 19 August on the situation in Belarus following the presidential election of 9 August,

 having regard to the public statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the situation in Belarus following the presidential election of 9 August 2020,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the presidential campaign was marred by widespread manipulation and interference favouring the incumbent, intimidation and repression towards other candidates, their families and supporters, multiple arrests, and attempts to silence independent journalists and bloggers;

B. whereas irregularities during the polling days were reported constantly, people were intimidated and often denied their right to vote, records from polling stations were falsified, and large-scale falsification of voting results took place;

C. whereas Belarusian authorities did not comply with a minimal level of internationally recognised standards for a credible, transparent, free and fair electoral process in line with guidelines provided by specialised structures of OSCE, of which Belarus is a participating state;

D. whereas the Central Election Committee declared Alexander Lukashenko the alleged winner of the election;

E. whereas credible reports point to a clear victory by Svetlana Tikhanovskaja, who received an overwhelming majority of votes;

F. whereas the European Union and its Member States did not recognise the results of the presidential election due to substantial doubts about the fairness of the election and widespread reports of falsification;

G. whereas peaceful protests expressing a desire for democratic change and freedom already began all over the country on the night of Sunday 9 August in Minsk, the protests continue until today, peaking during weekends in Unity Marches, and the scale of protests is unprecedented in the history of Belarus with numbers of participants reaching the hundreds of thousands;

H. whereas protests have been accompanied by widespread strikes in factories, companies, schools, universities, cities, towns and villages, all over the country;

I. whereas the authorities responded to peaceful protests with disproportionate brute force, and the heavy use of tear gas, batons, flash grenades and water cannons;

J. whereas close to ten thousand people have been detained by the authorities, a few hundred criminal charges have been brought, and more than one thousand people were hospitalised; whereas there have been reports of torture, rape, kidnapping, and several people are missing or have been found dead since 9 August 2020;

K. whereas the Coordination Council was set up to coordinate activities and lead the opposition, currently only one member of its Presidium, Svetlana Alexievich, has not been detained or forced to leave the country;

L. whereas Maria Kalesnikova, one of the key figures of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s campaign, was abducted on 7 September from a street in Minsk in the middle of the day; whereas the Belarusian authorities tried to deport her to Ukraine, but she ripped up her passport in order to avoid this from happening; whereas she continues to be detained by the Belarusian authorities;

M. whereas the European Council of 19 August decided to impose sanctions against a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression and the falsification of the election results in Belarus, prohibiting them from entering the EU and freezing their financial assets in the EU;

1. Does not recognise the results of the presidential elections held in Belarus on 9 August, as they were conducted in flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards; will not recognise Alexander Lukashenko as president of Belarus once his current term of office expires;

2. Demands that new elections take place as soon as possible under international supervision led by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the presence of international observers, guaranteeing that the election is conducted in accordance with internationally recognised standards;

3. Strongly supports protesting Belarusians in their demands for freedom, democracy, dignity and the right to choose their own destiny;

4. Recognises the Coordination Council as the legitimate representation of the people demanding democratic change in Belarus;

5. Supports a peaceful transition of power as a result of an inclusive national dialogue in full respect of the Belarusian people’s democratic and fundamental rights;

6. Recognises Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya as President-elect and interim leader of Belarus until new elections have taken place;

7. Condemns the ongoing intimidation and disproportionate use of force towards peaceful protesters, participants in strikes, and members of the Coordination Council; demands the immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily detained before and after the falsified 9 August elections, including Pavel Sevyarynets, Mikalaj Statkievich, Maria Kalesnikova, Andrei Yahorau, Irina Sukhiy, Anton Radniankou, and Ivan Krautsou; demands that all prosecutions on political grounds are stopped;

8. Urges the Belarusian authorities to cease all forms of ill-treatment and torture against detainees, and to enable them to access medical and legal advice;

9. Strongly supports EU sanctions against individuals responsible for violence, repression and falsification of the election results in Belarus, including Alexander Lukashenko;

10. Reiterates its call to swiftly implement the EU human rights sanctions mechanism allowing for sanctions similar to those in the US Magnitsky Act against individuals and companies involved in serious human rights violations;

11. Urges the preparation of a comprehensive review of EU policy towards Belarus for after the new presidential election, and urges the EU to organise a donors’ conference for democratic Belarus, bringing together international financial institutions, G-7 countries, EU Member States and institutions, and others willing to pledge a multi-billion Euro financial package to support future reform efforts and the restructuring of the economy;

12. Calls on the EEAS to suspend negotiations on the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities until free and fair presidential elections have taken place;

13. Underscores that as long as the political situation in Belarus does not change, all ongoing disbursements of EU financial assistance must be suspended;

14. Encourages Member States to facilitate and accelerate visa procedures for those fleeing Belarus for political reasons, and to extend them and their families all necessary support and assistance;

15. Calls on the EU to adopt a strategy to further enhance people-to-people contacts by supporting Belarusian independent NGOs, civil society organisations, human rights defenders, media representatives and independent journalists, as well as to create additional opportunities for young Belarusians to study in the EU;

16. Suggests the establishment, within existing European Parliament structures, of a platform to assist international investigations of crimes committed by the regime against the people of Belarus in coordination with international organisations responsible for the protection of human rights;

17. Condemns the suppression of the internet and media, as well as the intimidation of journalists and bloggers in order to stop the flow of information on the situation in the country; underscores the right of the people of Belarus to have unhindered access to information;

18. Underlines the importance of vigilantly countering any spread of disinformation in Belarus concerning the EU and its Member States, and of disinformation on the situation in Belarus within the EU, as well as other forms of hybrid threats undertaken by third parties;

19. Calls on the Russian Federation to halt any interference, whether covert or overt, in the peaceful democratic revolution in Belarus; urges the Russian Federation to respect the democratic will of the Belarusian people; warns that Alexander Lukashenko has no political or moral mandate to enter into any further contractual relations on behalf of Belarus, including with the Russian authorities, which could threaten the sovereignty of Belarus;

20. Underlines the importance of keeping the developments in Belarus a priority for the EU; recalls the need for the EU to be united and persistent in its response to the situation in Belarus;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the authorities of the Republic of Belarus.

Last updated: 15 September 2020
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