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Council of the EU confirms EU’s unwavering support for democracy and human rights

2024 2024-02-20T13:20:36+0300 2024-02-20T15:36:41+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 19 February 2024, the Council approved conclusions reaffirming its unwavering support for the Belarusian people’s quest for a free, democratic, sovereign and independent Belarus as part of a peaceful and prosperous Europe.

Josep Borrell

"Belarus remains high on the EU agenda. We denounce the Lukashenka regime’s continued senseless violation of human rights and unprecedented level of repression ahead of the upcoming elections. Those responsible will be held to account. We stand in solidarity with the Belarusian people and remain determined to mobilise all tools to support their quest for peace and democracy," says Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

In its conclusions, the Council expresses its continued and deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus. It strongly condemns the continuing persecution and intimidation campaigns against all segments of Belarusian society, the unprecedented level of repression, and restrictions on political participation, which undermine the potential for fairness and legitimacy of the parliamentary and local elections scheduled to take place on 25 February 2024.

The Council expresses its deep concern about the Lukashenka regime’s actions affecting the national identity of Belarus and reaffirms its commitment to supporting and promoting the Belarusian language and culture

Furthermore, the Council strongly condemns the continued support provided by the Belarusian regime to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and calls on Belarus to refrain from such actions and to abide by its international obligations. It also condemns the regime’s hybrid attacks at the EU’s external borders, including the instrumentalisation of migrants.

The EU has imposed targeted sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, and stands ready to take further restrictive and targeted measures as long as the Belarusian authorities continue their actions.

The conclusions also underline the EU's strong support for Belarusian civil society, welcoming the establishment of the EU Consultative Group with Belarusian democratic forces and civil society. Furthermore they recall the EU’s commitment to provide €3 billion to a future democratic Belarus through a comprehensive plan of economic support which aims to build resilience and bring forward democratic reforms, to create new jobs and improve people’s living standards. A future democratic Belarus has a place in the European family.

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