At a meeting on Thursday, June 10, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Belarus, in which it called on EU leaders to impose tough economic sanctions, expand “black lists” and convene an international tribunal to investigate the crimes of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
The forced landing of a Ryanair flight for the arrest of Roman Protasevich and his companion Sophia Sapieha is “an act of state terrorism,” according to the document, which was voted for by 626 MEPs out of 676.
Since the elections in August last year, 34,000 people have been detained in Belarus; 14 thousand Belarusians were forced to flee the country after more than 3 thousand criminal cases were initiated against the protesters, 470 people, including seven minors, became political prisoners, and 4.6 thousand complained of torture and violence, the EP lists.
Lukashenko “is not the legitimate president” of Belarus, since the election results were “rigged”, and the “hijacking of the plane” with 170 passengers on board clearly showed that the Lukashenka regime had become “a threat to international peace and security,” the resolution says.
In this regard, the EP calls on the EU leaders to expand the “black lists” of Belarusian officials and introduce a package of tough economic sanctions that would affect both state and private companies owned by businessmen close to Lukashenka.
The sectoral sanctions proposed by the MEPs imply an almost total economic blockade of Belarus.
It is proposed to impose a ban on the trade in oil, oil products, steel, wood products, potash fertilizers – that is, goods that supply the Belarusian economy with income in hard foreign currency and allow paying off external debt and critical imports.
In addition, the parliamentarians call on “to temporarily exclude Belarus from the SWIFT system”, to limit credit lines for Belarusian banks and to stop the transfer of technology and know-how to the Belarusian authorities.
This is especially about the German concern Siemens, the document says.
The EP also “stresses the need for a full investigation of the crimes of the Lukashenka regime against the people of Belarus”, for which it suggests “convening an international tribunal”.
“Since the Belarusian authorities refuse to restore the rule of law and be held accountable, the international community must join the case and ensure the collection of evidence, investigation and prosecution of those responsible across the entire vertical of government,” the resolution says.