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Texts tabled :

RC-B9-0328/2021

Debates :

PV 08/06/2021 - 11
CRE 08/06/2021 - 11

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PV 10/06/2021 - 9
PV 10/06/2021 - 15

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P9_TA(2021)0293

Debates
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Tuesday, 8 June 2021 - Strasbourg Revised edition

11. Systematic repression in Belarus and its consequences for European security following abductions from an EU civilian plane intercepted by the Belarusian authorities (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Puhemies. – Esityslistalla on seuraavana neuvoston ja komission julkilausumat Valko-Venäjän järjestelmällisistä sortotoimista ja niiden seurauksista Euroopan turvallisuudelle Valko-Venäjän viranomaisten kaappaamasta EU:n siviililentokoneesta tehtyjen pidätysten jälkeen [2021/2741(RSP)].

Tietooni on saatettu, että korkea edustaja ja komission varapuheenjohtaja Borrell puhuu sekä komission että neuvoston puolesta.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, it is certainly the right moment to talk about Belarus. Belarus is again at the very top of the international agenda for the events that everybody knows and the continued repression by Lukashenko’s regime.

This repression has been strongly condemned, as much as the massive human rights violations which continue unabated since the past elections in August 2020, almost one year ago. The recent events are related to the hijacking of a European Union airplane flying between two European Union capitals and forcing it to land in Minsk with intervention by a fighter, which is an act that oversteps many red lines. Not only has it jeopardised the security of over 100 passengers, it has also challenged international rules relating to air transportation.

The subsequent arrest of a young Belarusian journalist as well as his partner is an abhorrent act. Their forced confession on state television is another example of the flagrant violations of basic human rights that Lukashenko’s regime commits. It was certainly awful to watch this image of these people detained, crying and recognising in front of state television like he has been committing I don’t know how many crimes against Belarus. Believe me, it was a shameful image, and we have to respond decisively against this image, against these facts. Already the day after, after the hijacking of the Ryanair flight, the European Council met, put this issue on the agenda and took decisions. The European Council called for additional sanctions, and for the first time they decided to include targeted economic sanctions. Until now our sanctions are usually taken on a personal basis, affecting individuals and entities but not the whole economy of a country. This time, the Council requested to take targeted economic sanctions.

The Council also requested that all European Union-based air carriers avoid overflights of Belarus. They called also for adopting the necessary measures to ban overflights of European Union airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to European Union airports of flights operated by such airlines. And I can tell you that these measures have already been adopted last week, and I will give you some details about it.

Listing of individuals and companies, including those involved in the Ryanair incident, are well on track for adoption, and it will be adopted by written procedure in the following days. As mandated by the European Council and together with the Commission, we have started targeted economic sanctions, as the Council requested. They will be adopted at the next Foreign Affairs Council. I hope that the technical work will be finished and it will be affecting critical sectors of the Belarusian economy – but the final decision belongs to the Member States. I hope they will be united on that.

Meantime, we will continue to address the human rights violations in international fora. Let’s not forget that we now calculate almost 450 political prisoners in Belarus. These groups include journalists arrested for simply doing their jobs – informing, students and representatives of civil society and ordinary citizens who protested against their freedom and rights being taken away by the regime. We have been contributing to the establishment of a mechanism to hold the perpetrators of human rights violations responsible, and we will continue to support the victims and look for the accountability of perpetrators.

We have published a plan for an EUR 3 billion economic investment package in support of democratic Belarus, sending a message of hope and support to the people of Belarus, showing the prospects for a more prosperous country once they come back to a democratic system. Belarus, should the country change, will have a strong incentive for economic development, and this EUR three billion economic plan will support it. This is a way of proving that we stand with the Belarusian people and will continue doing so in the future. I am very much looking forward to listening to your remarks on this situation.

 
  
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  Andrzej Halicki, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! W imieniu Europejskiej Partii Ludowej chcę przekazać bardzo stanowczy apel. Tu już nie ma czasu na dyskusję, trzeba działać, i to działać bardzo zdecydowanie, bardzo szybko i bardzo konkretnie. Na granicy polsko-białoruskiej dziś protestują ludzie, bo nie mogą nawiązać kontaktu ze swoimi rodzinami. Praktycznie nie ma ruchu osobowego. Łukaszenka zamknął granicę. To oznacza, że Białoruś stała się jednym wielkim więzieniem.

Był czas na misję wysokiego szczebla, co proponowało PPE i proponował w swojej rezolucji Parlament Europejski. Dziś możemy apelować tylko o konferencję polityczną wysokiego szczebla. Ale polityka sankcji, sankcji personalnych, gospodarczych, zakazu importu towarów takich jak produkty naftowe, nawozy czy drewno musi być zdecydowana i bardziej stanowcza. Tak, niebo musi być zamknięte dla białoruskich samolotów. Musimy uruchomić naszych dyplomatów, by brali udział w procesach więźniów politycznych. Wśród tych 460 ludzi jest ponad 30 dziennikarzy, torturowanych i prześladowanych.

Musimy pomóc mediom białoruskim, tym niezależnym, bo białoruskie społeczeństwo odcięte jest od informacji. Mamy portale Nexta, TUT.by, one wymagają naszego wsparcia. I jest takie jedno miejsce dla Łukaszenki – myślę o Trybunale w Hadze. Mam nadzieję, że ten dyktator tam skończy, bo sprawiedliwość musi zwyciężyć. Wolność zwycięży na pewno.

 
  
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  Robert Biedroń, w imieniu grupy S&D. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Przez ostatnie 10 miesięcy Łukaszenka przekraczał kolejne granice. Społeczność międzynarodowa, w tym niestety Unia Europejska, przyglądała się tragedii milionów Białorusinek i Białorusinów. W tym czasie Łukaszenka, podnosząc rękę na swoich współobywateli, torturował ich, gwałcił kobiety, zamykał w więzieniu dzieci i młodzież.

Dzisiaj przyjmujemy wyjątkową rezolucję, kolejną rezolucję, która ma na celu zwrócenie uwagi, że nie mamy do czynienia z jakimś politykiem, któremu pomyliła się demokracja z autorytaryzmem. Mamy do czynienia z ostatnim dyktatorem Europy. Z człowiekiem, który podniósł rękę na swoje społeczeństwo. Z człowiekiem, który tutaj w Europie, na kontynencie, na którym zrodziły się demokracja i prawa człowieka, tworzy nam Koreę Północną.

Unia Europejska nie może się Panie Komisarzu temu biernie przyglądać. Unia Europejska musi w końcu podjąć zdecydowane działania i w tej rezolucji te działania są zawarte. Musimy także wysłać społeczeństwu obywatelskiemu na Białorusi jasny sygnał, że oprócz sankcji dzisiaj, teraz i w najbliższych miesiącach będziemy mieli także plan wsparcia dla opozycji białoruskiej, tak żeby nie została sama, żeby ta nadzieja, którą noszą dzisiaj jeszcze w sercu, nigdy nie zgasła.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, Mr Borrell, dear colleagues, over the past year, previously unnoticed Belarus has become the pan—European problem. In recent months, Lukashenko has gravitated from authoritarian to dictatorial rule. He started from the brutal crackdown and imprisonment of peaceful protesters and currently holds all the Belarusian people hostages within the borders of Belarus.

Isolation of Belarus, which neither belongs to the Council of Europe nor to the WTO, continues. All political capital of Lukashenko depends on deep integration with Russia and Putin’s considerations.

Lukashenko continues his terrorist-type games. First by launching the Astravets nuclear power plant with disregard to the EU stress test recommendations. Then by hijacking the commercial aircraft and kidnapping two of its passengers. Currently, by facilitating the illegal migration of third-country nationals to Lithuania and Poland, as well as smuggling of cigarettes to the European Union.

We are unlikely to stop Lukashenko and Putin from violating sovereignty of Belarus in attempts to form a so-called union state. But we must justify the expectations of the Belarusian people towards the European Union and contain the Lukashenko regime by imposing broad sectorial sanctions. In addition, the European Union should initiate and host a high-level conference on the future of democratic Belarus, not only pledging, but providing real-time support to democratic civil society of Belarus.

 
  
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  Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Schon vor einem Jahr, weit vor der Wahl im August, nahm Lukaschenko in alter Diktatorenmanier seine maßgeblichen Mitbewerber ums Präsidentenamt aus dem Rennen, indem er sie entweder verhaften ließ oder sie zwang, vor der Wahl ins Exil zu gehen. Am 9. August folgte die gestohlene Präsidentschaftswahl mit hunderten Verhaftungen sowie anschließenden Folterungen der friedlich protestierenden Menschen in den Zellen der KGB-Gefängnisse. Von Rat und Kommission hörten wir maximal Mitteilungen, die die übliche Besorgnis ausdrückten, sowie unsäglich lange Verhandlungen mit der permanenten Vetoandrohung durch Zypern – was für eine Riesenenttäuschung für die Menschen in Belarus.

Das Niederschlagen der Proteste durch den eigenen Diktator ist das eine, aber dass diese Proteste, wie ihr Streben nach Demokratie, keinen unmittelbaren Rückhalt in der EU fanden, war für viele fast noch schlimmer, und das lag nicht nur an der Sommerpause in Brüssel. Mit der Ermordung von Roman Bondarenko am 12. November durch Lukaschenkos Schergen wurde ein neuer Tiefpunkt erreicht, eine weitere rote Linie überschritten. Auch hierauf folgten nach längerer unwürdiger Debatte nur einzelne Sanktionen gegen Menschen aus dem Umfeld von Lukaschenko.

Während der Terror und die Einschüchterung durch das Regime in Belarus an Tempo zunahmen, verlangsamte die EU das Tempo der Gegenmaßnahmen. Immer wieder war aus vielen Hauptstädten zu hören, dass es im Grunde ein Bedürfnis nach dem business as usual gab. Lukaschenko dagegen schreckte vor nichts zurück, wie wir jetzt sehen, nicht vor einer Flugzeugentführung zwischen zwei EU-Hauptstädten und nicht vor einer öffentlichen Demütigung, vor einem öffentlichen Zwangsgeständnis unter offensichtlicher psychischer und physischer Folter. Der nächste Schritt wäre eine öffentliche Exekution im IS-Stil. Aber mittlerweile mag man sogar das nicht mehr ausschließen, wenn diese Mittel zu Lukaschenkos Machtkonsolidierung taugen. Lassen Sie uns also gemeinsam das Schlimmste verhindern und mit gezielten Sanktionen, mit sektoralen Sanktionen gegen den Düngemittelsektor Belaruskali, gegen Ölraffinerieprodukte von Naftan oder auch gegen den Finanzsektor – ich meine hier den temporären Ausschluss von dem internationalen Bankensystem SWIFT –, die Finanzquellen von Lukaschenko endlich zum Erliegen bringen. Nur harte Sanktionen werden ihn mittelfristig davon abhalten können, seinen professionellen Sicherheitsapparat und seine Schlägertrupps zu bezahlen. Das alles sind wir den friedlich demonstrierenden Menschen in Belarus schuldig.

 
  
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  Susanna Ceccardi, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il dirottamento di un volo Ryanair per consentire l'arresto dell'oppositore politico Roman Protasevich e della sua compagna Sofia Sapega sembra tratto da un film di Hollywood. Purtroppo invece è l'ennesimo episodio di repressione che si verifica da parte di un governo illiberale come quello di Lukashenko.

In questa situazione la Russia ha perso l'occasione storica di prendere le distanze da un alleato sempre più impresentabile. L'amichevole meeting a Sochi tra Putin e Lukashenko rende la posizione di Mosca scomoda viste le malefatte del dittatore bielorusso.

Ma c'è un altro attore in questa scena, di cui si parla troppo poco: la Cina. Nella lista delle nazioni che al Consiglio di Sicurezza dell'ONU non hanno condannato il dirottamento del volo mancano proprio Russia e Cina.

Per Pechino la Bielorussia è un corridoio strategico nell'ambito della Via della Seta, la via di penetrazione politico-commerciale usata come una clava dal partito comunista cinese. E del resto, solo pochi giorni fa, la Cina, tramite il suo ambasciatore a Minsk, ha lodato il governo bielorusso, senza dimenticare che, nel bel mezzo delle proteste di piazza, Xi Jinping fu il primo presidente straniero a congratularsi con Lukashenko per aver vinto le contestatissime elezioni del 2020.

La Bielorussia è per la Cina la porta di ingresso in Europa centrale, e le relazioni commerciali tra i due paesi sono in costante aumento, mentre la Lituania, che ha capito cosa si nasconda dietro la Via della Seta, ha abbandonato il gruppo di contatto tra Cina e paesi dell'Europa centro-orientale.

Oltre a bloccare i voli dalla Bielorussia, azione finalmente coraggiosa e incisiva, l'Unione europea dovrebbe bloccare i convogli ferroviari cinesi in arrivo dalla Bielorussia. Sarebbe un segnale fortissimo per il dittatore di Minsk e per i suoi supporter cinesi.

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, in Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, illegitimate illegal president of this country, increases his grip and violence against his own society almost every day. We see it with the reaction of people to atrocities: many are imprisoned, even trying to commit suicide or succeeding in doing this, like our colleague Ashurak. Unfortunately, this process is in continuation. We have to react to this. There is also an external factor to this, and we see collaboration between the other dictator, Vladimir Putin, and Lukashenko in all of this. In particular my country, Poland, and our neighbour, Lithuania, are targets of what I clearly see as elements of hybrid warfare perpetrated by proxy, Lukashenko against us.

This airplane belonging to Ryanair was from a formal point of view a Polish airplane, and the other regular incident – provocation – was also against one of the opposition leaders in Russia, but also in Polish airplane. That means that we have to stay extremely vigilant, extending pressure on both Lukashenko and Putin to cooperate with the international community, with international society, abandoning aggressive behaviour. These are the only societies and these are the external neighbours.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Hoher Vertreter, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Situation in Belarus eskaliert. Wie viele Menschen, die sich friedlich für Demokratie und Neuwahlen einsetzen, müssen noch mundtot gemacht, inhaftiert oder gar gefoltert werden?

Meine Fraktion verurteilt die Zwangslandung des Ryanair-Fluges in Minsk am 23. Mai und die Verhaftung von Roman Protasewitsch und Sofia Sapega zutiefst. Offensichtlich ist der Herrschaft Lukaschenkas jegliches Mittel recht, kritische Stimmen – auch aus dem Ausland – auszuschalten.

Wir fordern die unverzügliche Freilassung von Roman Protasewitsch und Sofia Sapega sowie aller Journalistinnen und Journalisten und politischen Gefangenen, die im Zusammenhang mit den Protesten festgenommen werden und wurden.

Die Menschenrechte, einschließlich der Presse- und Meinungsfreiheit, des Rechtes auf Streik und der Versammlungsfreiheit, sind uneingeschränkt in Belarus zu achten und zu garantieren – eine Voraussetzung für jegliche Nachbarschaftspolitik, überall. Und Lukaschenka muss das verstehen.

Die Politik von ihm untergräbt die grundlegenden Normen und Werte der belarussischen Gesellschaft und ihren Zusammenhalt. Und hier, glaube ich, muss ein Neuanfang einsetzen. Auch wir in der EU müssen unsere Politik in diesem Konflikt überdenken. Eine vierte Umdrehung der Sanktionsspirale wird eine Änderung der Situation im Land kaum kurz- und mittelfristig bringen – und sie trifft die gesamte Bevölkerung.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, "sono colpevole, ho complottato per rovesciare Lukashenko, ma ora capisco che Aleksandr sta facendo la cosa giusta e lo rispetto". Cosa deve avere subito, quali violenze devono essere state inflitte a Protasevich per pronunciare queste parole sulla TV di Stato? Cosa patiscono ogni giorno lui e i 460 prigionieri politici nelle carceri bielorusse?

Cari colleghi, l'inaccettabile dirottamento del volo Atene-Vilnius non è stato un atto di forza del dittatore Lukashenko, bensì un segno di debolezza, una mossa disperata che auspico e credo possa segnare l'inizio della sua fine politica. Nonostante la feroce repressione della società bielorussa, donne e uomini coraggiosi, ai quali vanno tutta la mia stima e il mio appoggio, non sembrano infatti volersi rassegnare a subire i suoi diktat.

Invito quindi il Consiglio ad adottare quanto prima nuove dissuasive sanzioni in grado di colpire il regime, ma non la sua popolazione, e sposo pienamente le dichiarazioni della Presidente Von der Leyen e il piano di aiuti predisposto per accompagnare una transizione veramente pacifica e democratica nel paese.

Tutto quello che desiderano i bielorussi è pace e libertà, ed è nostro dovere morale come europei fare tutto il possibile affinché il loro sogno si avveri.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, there are four points which I want to raise in my intervention.

First, why did Lukashenko decide that he could go for state terrorism action with the hijacking of a Ryanair flight? Because he decided that he would stay unpunished in the same way that he is still not punished for his crimes against the Belarusian people. On sanctions, the news is that next week the EU will approve sanctions only on seven persons and one entity. It’s really not enough. There is a need for justice now, not when the regime collapses. An international conference on the Belarusian crisis should be initiated immediately with one of the goals to establish an international tribunal for Lukashenko’s crimes.

Second, Putin remains the sole supporter of Lukashenko, and that is the only reason why Lukashenko is able to continue with his crimes. In return, Putin wants to finalise the creeping annexation of Belarus. The West must loudly indicate that it is prepared to impose the strongest sanctions on Russia if the Kremlin refuses quickly to retract its support for the criminal Lukashenko regime and if the Kremlin does not abandon its plans to realise an illegal annexation of Belarus.

Third, on 16 June, a meeting of Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin is a good opportunity to relay a unified message from the West to Putin’s regime: hands off Belarus or face sanctions!

Fourth, after reviewing all the European Union institutions in my mind, I cannot find anybody who could be described as a leader who takes 24/7 responsibility to solve the Belarus crisis, and the same can be said about the EU Member States. We need to resolve this leadership problem.

 
  
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  Pedro Marques (S&D). – Madam President, I will keep it plain and short. The Belarusian authorities, upon the direct order of Alexander Lukashenko, definitely went too far this time. Not only has the Belarusian regime systematically violated freedom of the press, democratic values and human rights, but now it has also violated European security, demonstrating that the Belarusian regime has become a threat to international peace and security.

Hijacking an airplane, a European airplane, is an act of terrorism – and terrorism is a serious crime. The European Union must not tolerate such behaviour, and we commend you, High Representative, for the strong and fast response that you showed here, showing Lukashenko that his actions have consequences. Targeted economic sanctions to affect those responsible for the repression and the survival of such a regime must be implemented immediately. Assuming the EU’s role in the world starts at our own borders, and it is our role to protect our security, but also peace, democracy and respect for human rights.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Karin Karlsbro (Renew). – Fru talman! Vi har gång på gång talat om situationen i Belarus. Vi har pekat på de brott mot mänskliga rättigheter som Lukasjenka och hans regim begår dagligen mot sitt eget folk, men detta handlar också om Europa. Vi måste fortsätta att visa Lukasjenka att EU aldrig kommer att acceptera det förtryck och den terror vi nu ser. Men tiden för att bara tala är förbi – EU måste reagera och vi måste agera resolut.

När Lukasjenka som en terrorist med hjälp av militär kapar europeiska flygplan för att gripa journalister som sedan torteras är måttet rågat. Det kan inte ske ostraffat. Ekonomiska sanktioner är viktiga och skickar en tydlig signal, vi ska sätta hårt mot hårt. Det är uppenbart att Lukasjenka inte längre har någon som helst respekt för det internationella systemet, men han måste nu förstå att EU menar allvar. Alla åtgärder måste nu upp på bordet, och jag vill veta vad kommissionen avser att göra ytterligare.

Samtidigt måste man vara vaksam mot Rysslands inblandning i detta. Det är ingen hemlighet att Lukasjenka sitter i Putins ficka. Men vårt budskap här i dag är kristallklart: de politiska fångarna måste friges och fria val måste hållas i Belarus.

 
  
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  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we blocked some oligarchs from buying more properties on our soil. We made sure that Belavia wouldn’t bring more money to Lukashenko’s regime. We welcome Belarusian opposition in our countries. That is all important and good.

Yet we are forced to watch Raman Pratasevich cry, obviously having been tortured before. He is two years younger than me! And we watch this as some sick ransom video, but without the possibility to actually pay the ransom and help him. But do we really not have it? Did we use every tool we have? Do you think that Lukashenko will survive without European money?

Belarus is already dependent on Russia. Let’s not believe Lukashenko’s lies about how our strong action will push him closer to Putin. He is cradled in his arms as close as he could get, and there is no one else in the country so strongly attached to Putin.

Colleagues, Belarusian citizens’ society functions even under Lukashenko. They will do better without him.

 
  
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  Witold Jan Waszczykowski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Mówię po polsku, abym był lepiej słyszany za wschodnią granicą. Otóż Łukaszenka jest już 27 lat u władzy, przez tyle więc, 27 lat świat i Unia są bezradne. Czy nie mamy środków do karania? Nie. Są te środki, nie mamy po prostu woli. Mamy po prostu wymówki: bo Łukaszenka to za mały gracz, bo to za mała gospodarka, bo za nim stoi Putin. A więc musimy przedstawić plany działania przeciwko Łukaszence.

Po pierwsze, plan wsparcia dla opozycji. Musi się spotkać z kampanią informacyjną w naszych mediach i docierać do Białorusinów. Jedna fotografia Pratasiewicza na lotnisku to za mało. Potrzebne są granty dla opozycji, związków zawodowych, wsparcie dla ofiar, masowe programy leczenia, finansowanie dla wyrzuconych, izolacja Łukaszenki. Zacznijmy od procesów przeciwko Łukaszence we własnych krajach, aby doprowadzić do Trybunału Sprawiedliwości. I wreszcie potrzebne są wspólny front i przywództwo. Wykorzystajmy wizytę prezydenta Bidena w Europie do stworzenia takiego wspólnego frontu.

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Madam President, while the Belarus opposition was celebrated as freedom fighters by the EU’s public and its exiled leaders were received at the highest level, the EU’s foreign policy remains ambiguous. Ms Tsikhanouskaya got hardly more than a pat on the shoulder and nice words, while Lukashenko uses more and more violent methods against demonstrators at home.

Mr Borrell, after so many months, we still don’t see a clear foreign policy strategy and clear answers to the question. How can we sanction the Lukashenko regime in a way that doesn’t harm the ordinary citizens and which strengthens the opposition and stops Belarus from drifting closer and closer to Russia? Are we willing to undertake reforms in the EU decision-making to make our foreign policy responses quicker and more articulate than they are now? And if so, what are these reforms? Unfortunately, in any of the current resolutions I don’t see the answers to these questions.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, the people of Belarus have been fighting for freedom for more than 300 days. Three hundred days since the Lukashenko regime has been using all its force against peaceful protesters and brutally persecuting those imprisoned. We saw it publicly in one case but it is happening to hundreds of innocent people every day. We all know that Lukashenko forged the elections, committed crimes against his people and continues to torture, silence and repress those who seek democracy.

The aircraft hijacking demonstrated that as long as there is one single dictator on earth we are all in danger and that we must show solidarity with the people of Belarus. The EU response was quick, but more is needed. We have to broaden sanctions to include more of Lukashenko’s circle and businesses to harm the regime, not the people. We have to cut all Lukashenko’s funding, put Belarus on the UN Security Council agenda and also on the G7 agenda and do all we can to obtain the immediate release of political prisoners.

 
  
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  Maria Arena (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Haut Représentant, je ne peux que vous soutenir dans les efforts que vous déployez pour sanctionner le régime autoritaire de M. Loukachenko.

Vous avez aussi parlé du futur, le futur de la reconstruction de ce pays, et cela me semble important aussi de se projeter dans l’avenir. Et pour cet avenir, il sera nécessaire, bien entendu, de poursuivre les auteurs de violations des droits de l’homme, mais aussi de le faire savoir, de créer ce tribunal ad hoc et de collecter les preuves de violations des droits de l’homme qui sont en train de se faire aujourd’hui dans le pays.

Mais, pour revenir au présent, je me pose la question de comment rendre possible l’accès médical aux personnes qui aujourd’hui sont détenues en prison. Comment rendre possible l’accès à ces personnes dans les prisons, parce que je pense qu’elles sont effectivement victimes de violations. Elles sont aussi victimes de tortures. Et là aussi, nous aurons besoin de témoins.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Madam President, dear colleagues, it’s now been a year that Belarusians have been peacefully demonstrating for change and as the Lukashenko regime employs ever more violent tactics to suppress them, their struggle has become ever more legitimate, ever stronger, and their courage ever more admirable.

But now, what is new, and what few of us have been expecting, is how much of a threat the regime in Belarus would pose to European security and European citizens more broadly. Obviously, with the hijacking and kidnapping of Raman Pratasevich, the dictatorship in Belarus has demonstrated that it is not just illegitimate at home, but also unfit to command international recognition. The EU must do everything to sanction, isolate and deprive the oligarchs of their income, but without abandoning the Belarussian people, because in their struggle for democracy and freedom, they are the quintessential Europeans.

 
  
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  Patryk Jaki (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Oczywiście znów, Szanowni Państwo, w tej izbie usłyszeliśmy to co zwykle, to znaczy że dla nas Białoruś jest bardzo ważna, dla nas ważna jest demokracja. Znów jest odgrywany teatr i udajecie Państwo, że nie wiecie, o co tak naprawdę w tej sprawie chodzi. Otóż nie chodzi o samego Łukaszenkę. To, co daje mu siłę, to jest jego protektor, to jest Putin. I otóż tak się składa, Szanowni Państwo, że zamiast osłabiać Putina wzmacniacie go. Na tej sali jest pełno osób odpowiedzialnych za budowanie narzędzi politycznego szantażu Putinowi takich jak Nord Stream 2 albo odpowiedzialnych za zaangażowanie w ten projekt, albo odpowiedzialnych za bezczynność w tej sprawie. I za każdym razem, kiedy Państwo pomagacie Putinowi, on otrzymuje sygnał, daje sygnał Łukaszence, że może tak postępować dalej, może dalej łamać prawa człowieka. I jeżeli chcecie wreszcie pomóc, naprawdę pomóc Białorusi, to przestańcie wreszcie apelować do wszystkich, nie wiadomo do kogo, tylko zaapelujcie wreszcie do siebie i zacznijcie w tej sprawie działać, bo najwyższy czas żeby zrobić porządek z panem Łukaszenką i żeby przestać pomagać Putinowi.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Madam President, the most recent act by Mr Lukashenko is not just another bold provocation. Hijacking an EU civilian aircraft is an act of State terrorism. While there is no comparison, dare I say that, after the events of 11 September 2001, this is the most serious attack on civil aviation in the history of civil aviation. This is a terrorist attack that was led, commanded and executed by a State. And this is in parallel with the repression and oppression of the Belarusian people, including torture, being made political prisoners and disappearances.

If the European Union doesn’t adopt a very, very strong and hard stance against this behaviour, we will no longer be credible.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Madam President, the hijack of an EU plane flying between two EU capitals to kidnap a journalist who has been granted asylum in the European Union shows that the situation in Belarus is going from very bad to even worse. The non-legitimate regime continues its repression against its people and bluntly threatens our aviation transport and overall security. We must give better protection to all of the Belarusian citizens that are exiled and seeking asylum. We must unite our action with like-minded partners and exert political pressure for all of the political prisoners to be released. However, the biggest impact we can achieve is with substantial economic sanctions that would target all of the enablers of this regime immediately. Today, I join the calls for the EU to lead the organisation of the International Conference on Belarus. EUR 3 billion for democracy is a good start. Now we need geopolitical actions.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). –Voorzitter, we hadden al veel gezien van de zogenaamde laatste dictator van Europa, maar het kapen van een Europees vliegtuig om een kritische stem te arresteren is een oorlogsdaad en kan Europa niet over zijn kant laten gaan. Daarnet nam ik met collega's deel aan een solidariteitsactie om onze steun te betuigen aan het Wit-Russische volk en we vragen uitdrukkelijk de onmiddellijke vrijlating van Roman Protasevic en Sofia Sapega en alle andere politieke gevangenen.

Maar collega's, we krijgen Loekasjenko alleen op de knieën als we hem isoleren en tonen dat hij zichzelf tot internationale paria heeft gemaakt. Dus confisqueer alle buitenlandse tegoeden en voer bijkomende sancties in tegen Loekasjenko en de boeven om hem heen. Geen Wit-Russisch vliegtuig zou nog mogen landen in het westen. Zet een globale conferentie voor de toekomst van een democratisch Wit-Rusland op en dring aan, meneer Borrell, op de vrijlating van alle politiek gevangenen. U heeft onze steun. Ga ervoor.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök asszony, Főképviselő úr! Elfogadhatatlan egy menetrendszerinti utasszállító repülőgép minden indok nélküli földre kényszerítése a belorusz hatóságok által. El sem tudom képzelni, hogy mit érezhettek a két uniós főváros között közlekedő gép utasai, amikor vadászgépeket tekintettek meg a repülőjük ablakából. Mindent meg kell tenni, hogy a több mint száz utas életét veszélyeztető kényszerítés többé ne történhessen meg sehol a világon. E tekintetben meghozott gyors és határozott uniós válaszintézkedések, és remélem, hogy ezeknek értelmük lesz, lesz folytatásuk és határozottabban, gyorsabban fogunk tudni majd reagálni.

A Raman Prataszevics újságíró és menyasszonya Szofija Szapega kényszerített minszki landolását követően őrizetbe vétele, őrizetben tartása elfogadhatatlan. A belorusz hatóságoknak azonnal szabadon kell bocsátani őket, mint minden politikai fogolytársukat.

 
  
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  Miriam Lexmann (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, Alexander Lukashenko is a despot who has imprisoned the entire nation, much like the Soviet Union, which he continues to revere. Show trials, mass arrest, rape and torture, now even state terrorism: Lukashenko will stop at nothing. Let me just mention my good friend, Paval Sieviaryniec, the co-chair of the Belarusian Christian Democrats, who has already spent 10 years in prison at Lukashenko’s penal colonies and now has been sentenced to another seven years, all because he believes in a free and sovereign Belarus.

Dear colleagues, it is time for us to face the reality. Targeting sanctions only are not sufficient to stop Lukashenko. It is time for sectoral economic sanctions, conditional on the release of all political prisoners and the end of all the repressions. Zhyve Belarus!

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Madam President, when protests began in Minsk against Lukashenko’s dictatorship last year, many of us were excessively jubilant and predicted an imminent fall of the regime. Well the jubilation was, unfortunately, premature, and we can say that with every new crime against his own people, the likelihood of Lukashenko ever voluntarily relinquishing power and allowing for a democratic transition is only growing more and more remote. As demonstrated by the hijacking of a civilian aircraft in May, Lukashenko no longer even shies away from putting the lives of hundreds of EU nationals at risk while hunting down his regime’s critics abroad.

Europe must not tolerate this kind of behaviour. Our response to Lukashenko’s total neglect of international norms cannot be naive, and it will have to be even more resolute. The sanctions we apply must obviously be well targeted, but the effect of those sanctions will have to go all the way to the top of the regime, including Lukashenko himself.

Finally, we will have to be able to work hard to mitigate the Russian efforts to prop up Lukashenko’s criminal regime and to exploit the situation in Belarus in order to advance the Kremlin’s own anti-democratic agenda.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (Renew). – Proua president, head kolleegid! Valgevene diktaator on saanud pikalt kuritegusid toime panna, sest oma riigis on ta tekitanud hirmuõhustiku. Venemaa toetab teda igakülgselt ning muul maailmal on suuresti ükskõik. Lukašenko näeb, et muu maailma, sealhulgas Euroopa reaktsioon on aeglane ja nõrk. Seetõttu on ta oma rahva represseerimiselt liikunud näiteks ka Euroopa lennuki maanduma sundimisele, et sealt opositsionääre kätte saada. Hea ainult, et see ei lõppenud lennukatastroofi ja 170 hukkunuga. Aga ilmselgelt on diktaator ka selleks võimeline: 450 poliitvangi, kellest osa on surnud, repressioonid ja oma rahva alandamine. See on Valgevene argipäev.

Kus on Euroopa Ülemkogus kokku lepitud Valgevene režiimi vastased, tegelikult mõju avaldavad sanktsioonid? Liiga vähe ja aeglaselt on Euroopa Liit Valgevene diktaatori suhtes ette võtnud. Mida oodatakse? Uut lennukatastroofi nagu Malaisia lennuki allatulistamine Ida-Ukraina kohal? Nüüd ja kohe tuleb Euroopa Liidul ja liikmesriikidel tegutseda ja teha reaalseid otsuseid sanktsioonideks konkreetsete ettevõtete ja majandusharude osas, mis diktaatorile ka mõju avaldavad.

 
  
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  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Уважаема г-жо Председател, уважаеми г-н Борел, за режима на Лукашенко трябва да има още по-строги санкции, защото неговата политика е част от стратегията на Кремъл за възстановяване на руското влияние в държавите от бившия социалистически блок. Империята иска да се възроди. Агресията срещу Украйна бе доказателство.

Чрез Лукашенко Путин иска да държи под контрол и Беларус. Режимът в Минск е едно от оръжията на Кремъл във водената от Путин хибридна война срещу демокрацията. Тази война се пренася и в други държави. Един пример: преди няколко месеца в България службите за сигурност разбиха руска шпионска мрежа, но вместо да бъде поздравен и дори награден, директорът на Агенцията за национална сигурност бе уволнен от прокремълския български президент.

Вярвам, че Беларус ще бъде свободна и демократична държава.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: NICOLA BEER
Vizepräsidentin

 
  
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  Carmen Avram (S&D). – Doamna președintă, cu 400 de arestări în numai cinci luni, Belarus a fost în 2020 cea mai periculoasă țară din Europa în privința atacurilor asupra jurnaliștilor, arată Reporteri fără Frontiere. În 2021, în șase luni, regimul Lukașenko a trecut de la teroare aplicată punctual, la teroare pe scară largă, punând în pericol toți cetățenii europeni, mai întâi cu incidentul de la centrala nucleară Ostroveț și recent cu precedentul creat cu deturnarea unui avion de pasageri pe o rută europeană.

Dar cu toate avertismentele și sancțiunile Uniunii, Aleksandr Lukașenko mărșăluiește înainte. De ce? Pentru că Lukașenko nu e singur. El e îmbrățișat în toate accepțiunile cuvântului, public și ostentativ, de marele său sponsor, Vladimir Putin. Iar mai nou, Turcia îi oferă consultanță în tactici de luptă împotriva Uniunii Europene. Sunt în favoarea înăspririi sancțiunilor împotriva acestui dictator, dar asta, mă tem, nu-i va salva suficient de repede pe Roman Protasevici, nici pe toți ceilalți opozanți care zac și acum în pușcării, într-o țară devenită ea însăși o mare pușcărie. Sponsorii lui Lukașenko trebuie opriți într-un fel sau altul. Altfel, peste cinci ani, vom fi tot aici, vorbind tot despre el.

 
  
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  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Voorzitter, de verontrustende ontwikkelingen in Wit-Rusland blijven ons in toenemende mate grote zorgen baren. De vliegtuigkaping enkele weken terug heeft ons verbluft. En toch ook weer niet. Het was een wake up call. Het heeft ons duidelijk gemaakt waar een autoritair regime toe in staat is, een regime dat zich ondanks systemische aberraties kan handhaven omwille van een bondgenootschap met en strategische steun van Rusland.

Groot is onze consensus om verregaande maatregelen te nemen tegen Minsk als ik het hier zo hoor en om op te roepen tot een internationale conferentie over de toekomst, en om tot internationaal onderzoek tegen en de internationale berechting van Loekasjenko over te gaan en om ook de democratische krachten en de oppositie in zijn land te ondersteunen. Dat is onze taak opdat de kritische aandacht van de Unie voor de ontwikkelingen in Wit-Rusland aanwezig blijft. De resolutie waarover deze week wordt gestemd is dus in dit opzicht een welkom signaal.

Collega's, over enkele weken staat Rusland opnieuw op de agenda van de Europese Raad, maar ook bij de NAVO en de EU-VS-toppen. Wat mij betreft zijn samenhang en samenwerking met partners die onze waarden en belangen delen de kern van onze strategie tegen Rusland en in dit geval ook tegen Wit-Rusland.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, I have to agree with all of you. There is no doubt that the repression in Belarus has intensified and that it has reached the point when any expression of dissent is immediately brutally repressed. There are no more mass protests in the streets. No, they don’t take place anymore. This is not a return to normality, but it is the result of systematic and brutal repression. Legislation has also been gradually amended to shrink even more the limited space for any legal democratic activities of the society and to legally justify the abuses and violations of human rights. This includes a decree recently signed by Lukashenko allowing the law enforcement to use weapons against peaceful protesters.

I agree with all of you that we are facing a dictator. I agree with all of you that he has the support of Russia. I agree with all of you that we have to continue putting pressure and using all our capacities and tools in order to support civil society in Belarus. We have to consider this idea of holding an international conference on Belarus. We have to continue offering support and the prospect of financial support for a Belarusian democratic country. We have to target our sanctions in order to focus on Lukashenko and his cronies and to try to avoid ordinary citizens, but you know that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. You have to take measures that will certainly affect the Belarusian economy but at the same time support civil society, independent media, and the rule of law in order to push for free and fair elections.

We know that we are very far away from that. We know that Russian support – they have recently renewed a grant of USD 500 million – is very important for Lukashenko. This will certainly be taken into consideration by the European Council in the next meeting when they discuss our relationship with Russia. I can assure you that we are doing everything we can, from the beginning, in order to fight this dictatorship and to support the people who are suffering from it. I also thank you for your commitment to this purpose.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 10. Juni 2021, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Sandra Kalniete (PPE), in writing. – The current situation in Belarus represents a fundamental test of the credibility of the European Union. At our very borders, more than 35 000 people have been jailed, more than 4 600 tortured, and there are over 470 political prisoners. As a further reminder, the recent hijacking of an EU plane was a state—orchestrated act of terror. We must act now to stop Lukashenko. I call for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute Lukashenko and his collaborators, as well for the suspension of Belarusian national teams from European and world championships and the Olympics. EU sanctions should be extended to all those linked to state repression, including its economic and financial enablers and supporters. Raman Pratasevich, Sofia Sapiega and all political prisoners must be released immediately and unconditionally, and EU sanctions, including the ban on Belarusian carriers, should remain in place until this happens. Our governments must show ample and requisite determination and responsibility in providing tangible and long—term support to the legitimate democratic opposition in Belarus. I also fully support the organisation of a high—level political conference on the resolution of the crisis in Belarus, which must take place without any delay, under EU leadership.

 
  
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  Beata Mazurek (ECR), na piśmie. – Bezprawie, jakie reżim Łukaszenki wprowadza na Białorusi, destabilizując bezpieczeństwo nie tylko Białorusinów, ale również mieszkańców całej Europy, musi spotkać się z naszą stanowczą reakcją i działaniami. W odpowiedzi na łamanie podstawowych praw człowieka, łamanie wolności mediów i swobody działania dziennikarzy społeczność międzynarodowa musi zareagować jednoznacznie i zdecydowanie. Jedyną skuteczną drogą jest wprowadzenie dotkliwych sankcji, w szczególności tych ekonomicznych, które uderzą w reżim i pomogą przywrócić nadzieję na lepsze jutro całemu społeczeństwu białoruskiemu.

Jednocześnie nie możemy zapomnieć o pomocy dla naszych przyjaciół Białorusinów, którzy doświadczeni ostatnimi wydarzeniami, potrzebują jej bardziej niż kiedykolwiek. Premier Polski Mateusz Morawiecki przedstawił plan gospodarczy dla demokratycznej Białorusi, który prezentuje lepszą alternatywę wobec zastoju gospodarczego będącego skutkiem złych rządów Łukaszenki. Ta kompleksowa forma będzie nie tylko wsparciem finansowym, ale zapewni społeczeństwu białoruskiemu pomoc o charakterze długoterminowym, której tak bardzo potrzebują. Chciałabym przypomnieć, że Białoruś cały czas znajduje się w Europie. Dla dobra jej mieszkańców i dla dobra i bezpieczeństwa nas wszystkich trzeba zrobić wszystko, by jej pomóc.

 
  
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  Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (PPE), in writing. – I cannot stress enough the urgency and the seriousness surrounding the situation in Belarus and the actions taken by the Lukashenka regime. What happened is beyond the acceptable and I do not know where to start from in my indictment, as so many criminal and illegal acts have been perpetrated by the government in Minsk. Today we are discussing the high-jacking of the Athens to Vilnius flight, but this is one grave action that is part of a long pattern of aggression and brutality that has characterised the illegitimate power structure patronised by Lukashenka. I salute this resolution and all other actions taken by this house in relation to Belarus. At the same time, we must toughen not only our rhetoric, but also the sanctions imposed on the regime. I make a strong appeal for more resolute action from the EU institutions and Member States in relation to this issue. We must step up the pressure and use all instruments at our disposal to make Lukashenka and his clique accountable for their blatantly illegal activities. We cannot allow rogue states to use terrorist methods against anyone, be them EU or Belarus citizens.

 
  
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  Janina Ochojska (PPE), na piśmie. – Zatrzymanie pasażerskiego samolotu i schwytanie Ramana Pratasiewicza i Sofii Sapiegi to nie tylko pogwałcenie międzynarodowych przepisów lotniczych, ale przede wszystkim naruszenie podstawowych praw człowieka. Na Białorusi nieprzerwanie trwają masowe prześladowania opozycjonistów i niezależnych dziennikarzy, dzięki którym mieliśmy dostęp do prawdziwych informacji na temat tego, co się dzieje w kraju. Dodatkowo Białorusini coraz częściej mają problem z opuszczeniem swojego państwa, a granice Białorusi z UE stają się coraz bardziej szczelne i uniemożliwiają wyjazd. Osoby, którym udało się wyjechać i przebywają na terytorium UE, ze względu na prowadzoną działalność opozycyjną często żyją w ciągłym strachu i niebezpieczeństwie, obawiając się porwania i wywiezienia na Białoruś, gdzie czeka ich więzienie, przesłuchania i tortury.

Dlatego apeluję o nałożenie ukierunkowanych sankcji gospodarczych i objęcie nimi wszystkich tych, którzy wspierają reżim Łukaszenki. Musimy jak najszybciej opracować plan wsparcia dla opozycji i społeczeństwa obywatelskiego wraz ze wsparciem psychologicznym i programami leczenia dla setek uwięzionych i torturowanych. Co więcej musimy pamiętać o rozliczeniu oprawców, przeprowadzeniu procesów i walce z bezkarnością wszystkich tych, którzy przyczynili się do wsparcia terroru. Białoruskie społeczeństwo musi nie tylko wiedzieć, że ma wsparcie międzynarodowej społeczności, ale przede wszystkim odczuć działanie tego wsparcia w konkretnych przypadkach.

 
Last updated: 20 September 2021Legal notice - Privacy policy