The Council today adopted conclusions on the EU's response to the developments in Belarus.
In its conclusions the Council reiterates that the 9 August presidential electionswere neither free nor fair and that Aleksandr Lukashenko lacks any democratic legitimacy. The Council reiterates its full support for Belarus’s sovereignty and independence and underlines the democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their president through new, free and fair elections, without external interference.
The Council strongly condemns the violence employed by the Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters, and calls for the release of all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners. Against this background, the conclusions recall the restrictive measures imposed on 40 individuals responsible for the fraudulent nature of the presidential elections and the violent crackdown on peaceful protests, and state the EU's readiness to take further restrictive measures against entities and high-ranking officials, including Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The EU will scale down bilateral cooperation with the Belarusian authorities at central level, increase itssupport for the Belarusian people and civil society, and recalibrate its bilateral financial assistance accordingly. In line with that, the EU has immediately made available additional financial resources for victims of violence, civil society organisations and independent media.
The conclusions highlight that the EU is ready to substantially step up its political engagement, sectoral cooperation, and financial assistance to Belarus provided that its authorities respect the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, by stopping repression and abuses, promoting a serious, credible and inclusive political process resulting in free and fair elections under the OSCE/ODIHR's observation, and providing guarantees for respect for human rights.
Finally, the EU calls on the Belarusian authorities to engage in an inclusive national dialogue and stands ready to support a peaceful democratic transition with a variety of instruments, including a comprehensive plan of economic support for a democratic Belarus.
- Council conclusions Belarus, 12 October 2020
- Belarus: EU imposes sanctions for repression and election falsification, press release, 2 October 2020
- Belarus: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the so-called inauguration of Aleksandr Lukashenko
- Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the escalation of violence in Belarus, 11 September 2020
- Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the 9 August presidential elections, 11 August 2020
- EU relations with Belarus
- Publication date
- 12 October 2020
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations