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Belarus. Higher penalties for appeals to introduce sanctions against the Minsk regime

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The voted amendments to the Criminal Code provide for an increase in the penalty for actions aimed at harming the security of Belarus and introduce “features of this crime such as calls for restrictions (sanctions) against Belarus, natural and legal persons” – stated in a press release from the Belta agency. The maximum sentence is 12 years in prison.

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Deputies of the lower house of the Belarusian parliament, the House of Representatives, adopted on Monday at first reading amendments to introduce criminal liability for calling for sanctions. The upper house, the Council of the Republic, in turn, backed the law suspending the readmission agreement with the EU.

The voted amendments to the Criminal Code provide for an increase in the penalty for actions aimed at harming the security of Belarus and introduce “features of this crime such as calls for restrictions (sanctions) against Belarus, natural and legal persons” – stated in a press release from the Belta agency. The maximum sentence is 12 years in prison.

On Monday, both houses of parliament also passed a law that suspends the readmission agreement between Belarus and the European Union. The bill was submitted to parliament in September by Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

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In June, as part of a response to EU sanctions for violating human rights in Belarus, Minsk announced that it would suspend the validity of the readmission agreement. He also announced the suspension of Belarus’s participation in the Eastern Partnership program and sent the EU ambassador to Brussels for “consultations”.

“We regret to state that the forced suspension of the operation of the agreement (on readmission – ed.) Will have a negative impact on cooperation with the EU in the area of ​​combating illegal migration and organized crime,” the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on June 28.

The visa simplification and readmission agreements were signed on January 8 last year and entered into force in July.

Talks on the simplification of visa procedures have been conducted by Belarus and the EU since 2014. The EU, similarly to other countries, linked the signing of this agreement with a readmission agreement. It assumes, inter alia, that Belarus will accept back illegal immigrants who will end up in EU countries from its territory.

Both houses of parliament on Monday adopted a law on changes to the constitution, introducing a common voting day in local and parliamentary elections. This means that elections to local assemblies will not be held at the beginning of next year, but in the fall of 2023. Thus, there will be no situation in which there would be two election campaigns at the beginning of the year. According to the authorities’ announcements, a referendum on changes to the constitution is to be held by the end of February.

Main photo source: president.gov.by



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