European Parliament recognizes Coordination Council as ‘temporary representative’ of Belarusian people

On September 17, MEPs adopted a resolution on the situation in Belarus, in which they condemned the violence and repression in the country. They also confirmed that they did not recognize the results of the presidential elections.

The document emphasizes that after the expiration of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s the term of office the European Parliament will not consider him the president of Belarus. At the same time, the European Parliament recognizes the Coordination Council as “a temporary representative of the people, who demands democratic changes in Belarus”.

MEPs demand the release of political prisoners and all those arbitrarily detained, an investigation into the torture and death of people during the protests. MEPs are calling for sanctions against those responsible for the violence against peaceful protesters and electoral fraud. From the point of view of parliamentarians, the sanctions should be extended to some Russian citizens who support the Lukashenka regime.

The resolution condemns Russia’s “hybrid intervention” in the situation in Belarus in the form of sending media experts and security consultants to the country.

In addition, the MEPs recommended that the European Commission increase funding for civil society in Belarus, not to transfer money to state structures, not to give loans to the Belarusian authorities from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.

The authors of the resolution urge to simplify the issuance of visas to political refugees and everyone who suffered from the violence of the security forces, as well as to develop a special scholarship program for students expelled from Belarusian universities for political reasons.

Separately, MEPs urged not to hold the World Ice Hockey Championship in Belarus in 2021.

As many as 574 deputies voted for the document, 37 were against, 82 abstained.