In a resolution adopted on Thursday, Parliament expresses strong solidarity with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, as well as other EU countries recently targeted by the Belarusian regime’s attempts to direct a substantial number of migrants and refugees towards the EU’s external borders – with hundreds of people detained after crossing over into the EU illegally and even some deaths.
MEPs underline that the ongoing Belarusian state-sponsored irregular migrant crossings into the EU, coupled with a disinformation campaign, are a form of hybrid warfare aimed at intimidating and destabilising the European Union.
They state that both the EU institutions and the member states have to deal urgently with the multidimensional crisis at the Belarusian border, in order to help migrants stuck there and to provide them with the necessary support.
The case of Belarus to the International Court of Justice
In the resolution, Parliament also stresses the need to consider bringing the case of Belarus to the International Court of Justice over crimes committed on a massive scale against the country’s citizens by the regime of illegitimate dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka. This should be done on the basis of violations to the Chicago Convention, the Montreal Convention and the UN Convention against Torture committed by the Belarusian state, according to the text.
MEPs also continue to condemn “the repression, torture and ill-treatment of the peaceful people of Belarus”, which has not ended since popular protests broke out over the fraudulent presidential elections in August last year.
More EU sanctions needed
In addition, the resolution regrets the fact that the imposed EU economic sanctions have only had a partial effect on the Lukashenka regime. It therefore urges EU countries to further strengthen the targeted economic sanctions, focusing on key Belarusian sectors, and to push ahead urgently with a fifth package of sanctions against Belarusian individuals and entities involved in the endless crackdown.
MEPs further call for unequivocal support for the Belarusian democratic opposition in organising free and fair elections, under international observation. They also condemn the continuous dealings between Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Russian President Vladimir Putin and reiterate the urgency of exposing Russia’s support for Lukashenka’s brutal crackdown on the people of Belarus, as well as its involvement in the hybrid actions against the EU.
The text was adopted with 506 votes in favour, 29 against with 139 abstentions.