Debate on developments in Belarus
Developments in Belarus, including the September elections that returned the first two opposition MPs to its 110-seat Parliament since 1996, will be debated on Wednesday. MEPs are set to assess the possibility of Belarus MPs joining the Euronest EU-East European parliamentary forum and may reiterate their concerns about the safety of Ostrovets (Astravyets) nuclear power plant.
Given the release of political prisoners last year, President Alexander Lukashenko’s role in hosting Ukraine-Russia peace talks and the lifting of most EU sanctions against Belarus in February 2016, MEPs will take stock of EU-Belarus relations and the country’s prospects of joining the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.
They are also likely to reiterate their safety concerns about the nuclear power plant that Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is building for Belarus at Ostrovets, close to the EU border and just 45 km from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The Ostrovets plant is scheduled to enter first-stage operation this year and full operation in 2018.
The resolution on Belarus will be voted at the next plenary session in November.
Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (with resolution)
Debate: Wednesday, 26 October
Vote: November session (21-24 November)