FM Makey expresses outrage over EU stance, including ‘redirecting funds to Belarus opposition’

Uladzimir Makey.

Funds intended for the cross-border cooperation projects in Belarus are being used to finance foreign trips of the Belarusian authorities’ opponents, foreign minister Uladzimir Makey believes.

On December 10, he made a comment on his meeting with the ambassadors of the European Union that had taken place a day before. He was disappointed with the European partners’ intention of to terminate a number of projects.

“When we were told that these projects were meant to develop the civil society in Belarus, we supported such undertakings. Now we see that the funds which were spent on these projects (we were told that these projects are terminated) are redirected to finance foreign trips of the opponents of the Belarusian authorities. May that be on the conscience of those who initiate such things,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Makey.

According to him, the representative of the European Union read out a ‘leaflet’ listing the demands that were repeated in the statement of the delegation. The top diplomat also said that those points coincide with the program put forward by ‘the radical opponents of the government who left the country’.

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During the meeting, Western diplomats urged the Belarusian authorities the need to comply with the Constitution and international obligations in the field of human rights, freedoms, and the rule of law. They also raised the issues of arbitrary detentions, the release of all political prisoners, holding a free and fair election under independent observation as well as violence and inhuman treatment of peaceful protesters. However, Makey criticised the European partners’ stance.

In late November, MEPs passed a resolution on ‘the continuous violations of human rights in Belarus, in particular the murder of Raman Bandarenka’. The text was adopted by 613 votes in favour, 41 against and 35 abstentions.

The European Parliament demanded prompt, thorough, and independent investigations into Bandarenka’s death and the protest-related deaths of other Belarusian civilians. The deputies reiterated their support for the protesters’ demands for freedom, democracy, dignity, and the right to choose their own destiny, while condemning the ongoing human rights violations, intimidation, and disproportionate use of force by the authorities towards peaceful demonstrators.

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