EP calls for more sanctions on Belarus

Photo: AP MEPs call for the release of journalist Raman Pratasevich

In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 626 votes in favour, 16 against and 36 abstentions, MEPs strongly condemn the “Ryanair hijacking” as an act of ‘state terrorism’, and call for journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, as well as all other political prisoners in Belarus, to be immediately and unconditionally released, EP Press service reported.

The resolution urges the Council to sanction the Belarusian individuals and entities involved in the forced landing and the abductions as soon as possible.

EU member states must also proceed with utmost urgency with the next package of sanctions against those who took part in or were complicit in electoral fraud last year and the subsequent human rights violations in Belarus, says the text. Prosecutors, judges and law-enforcement employees who play a role in the repression should be on the sanctions list, as should agents working on disinformation, media, propaganda and officials supporting the regime, such as Marat Markov, who interviewed Raman Pratasevich on the state channel ONT on 2 June.

In addition, MEPs call for swift economic and sectoral measures targeting key Belarusian industries, in particular the crude oil and oil-products, potash, steel and wood-processing sectors. Financial support to the regime must be strictly denied, any new credit lines to the country’s banks refused, and investments in infrastructure or economic undertakings must be halted. European financial institutions must be prevented from acquiring bonds or any other financial instrument issued by the Belarusian government and affiliated public institutions.

The resolution also calls for Belarus to be suspended from international sport bodies and international events, including European and world championships, and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. MEPs further urge the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to remove broadcasting rights for the upcoming EURO 2020 football tournament from Belarusian state television TVR and assign them to the independent Belsat TV free of charge.

Josep Borrell, the EU's Foreign policy chief, said during Tuesday's plenary debate that he hoped EU member states would adopt further punitive measures on Belarus at the next summit.

Similar articles

  • Parliament calls for beefed-up EU security against cyber threats

    Parliament calls for beefed-up EU security against cyber threats

    In a resolution adopted on Thursday MEPs called for imposing tighter EU cybersecurity standards for connected devices, apps and operating systems, the EP press service reported. According to Parliament, connected products and associated services, including supply chains, should be made secure-by-design, resilient to cyber incidents, and quickly patched if vulnerabilities are discovered.

    46
  • Parliament to sue Commission for failure to act on rule of law

    Parliament to sue Commission for failure to act on rule of law

    In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 506 votes in favour, 150 against and 28 abstentions, Parliament warned it may sue the Commission for failing to strictly impose the rule of law across the Union, the EP press service reported. Furthermore, MEPs instruct EP President David Sassoli to call on the Commission, within two weeks at the latest, to “fulfil its obligations” or risk going to court.

    49
  • European Parliament calls for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

    European Parliament calls for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

    US and UK urged to abolish their export ban on vaccines and raw materials

    To accelerate global vaccine rollout, MEPs demand the temporary lifting of intellectual property rights protection for Covid-19 vaccines, EP Press service reported on Thursday. In a resolution adopted with 355 votes in favour, 263 against and 71 abstentions, Parliament proposes negotiations start for a temporary waiver of the WTO TRIPS Agreement on patents to improve global access to affordable Covid-19-related medical products and to address global production constraints and supply shortages.

    48