Charles Michel, President of the European Council, assured that the European Union has always supported Belarusians in their efforts to achieve democratic changes and will not fail them now. – The fifth package of EU sanctions will be agreed soon and we are considering further steps. Our message to the Belarusian people is clear: we will not disappoint you, he said.
During the first day of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) assembly, which takes place online, the President of the European Council Charles Michel spoke about the European Union’s support for Belarusian society.
– Today’s Belarus is of particular concern. So many people are suffering from oppression there. Civil society is under enormous pressure. The European Union stood steadfastly, united in our support for the Belarusian people and their desire for a democratic transition. We have provided significant financial support to civil society, journalists and the independent media, and we are imposing sanctions on those responsible for election rigging, violence and repression, Michel said.
– Recently, the Belarusian regime has also taken steps to instrumentalise the weakest in any society – migrants – under appalling conditions. We answer firmly. The European Union’s fifth package of sanctions will be agreed soon and we are considering further steps. Our message to the Belarusian people is clear: we will not disappoint you. Our comprehensive economic support for a democratic Belarus – up to three billion euros – is our strong European commitment to supporting a better future and the democratic choice of the Belarusian people, he added.
The Eastern Partnership is part of the European Neighborhood Policy covering the European Union’s eastern neighbors – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The aim of the initiative initiated by Poland, supported by Sweden in 2008, is to deepen political ties and economic integration with the six countries mentioned above.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is a platform for cooperation between non-governmental organizations operating in the countries belonging to the Partnership.
Main photo source: CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / EPA / PAP