European Parliament gives official Minsk two weeks «to calm down»

The European Parliament will not discuss the EU-Belarus diplomatic row during the March 12-15 plenary session in Strasbourg because the EP has decided to give Minsk time for deliberation, Vice President Jacek Protasiewicz said.

Members of the European Parliament worked out a draft resolution urging EU foreign ministers to take decisive actions towards the Belarusian authorities and the businessmen supporting the regime. «A two-week period is enough for the authorities in Minsk to invite ambassadors again and “lower the temperature” of the conflict. If it has not happened for the two weeks, believe me, the resolution will be passed,» Jacek Protasiewicz stated.

«This draft resolution is quite unambiguous. Firstly, it calls on the ministers to impose not only political but also economic sanctions. Not only against one person, Yury Czyzh, but a wide range of Belarusian businessmen as well,» the politician stated. «Furthermore, the draft resolution includes two paragraphs concerning the measures which will exclude holding the 2014 International Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk.»

On February 28, the Belarusian authorities «recommended» that the head of the EU delegation to Belarus and the ambassador of Poland to Belarus return to their capitals for consultations, while simultaneously recalling the country’s permanent representative in Brussels and ambassador in Warsaw. The decision was announced one day after the EU imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 21 more Belarusian officials over alleged human rights violations. According to Jacek Protasiewicz, that was not the real cause; it is the threat of implementing economic sanctions that happened to be the reason for the diplomatic conflict between Belarus and EU member countries. «Now our signal is that these sanctions will be introduced unless the Belarusian side returns to sound mentality, i.e.rejection of the diplomatic war launched by Minsk and secondly, [release of – Belsat] political prisoners, » the Vice President pointed out.


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