In a resolutions approved in Parliament's plenary session on 20 January, MEPs called for sanctions to be taken against Belarusian authorities by imposing a travel ban and asset freeze on Belarusian officials, judges and security officers involved in the violent election crackdown of 19 December 2010. Lifting these measures should be conditional upon the release of imprisoned opposition leaders.
The resolution calls for an independent and impartial international investigation into the events occurred in Belarus over the celebration of election last December. This investigation should be carried out under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). MEPs have also demand a re-run of the elections in accordance with international standards.
The text adopted by MEPs strongly condemns the use of brutal force by the police and the KGB during the elections in Belarus and the detention and arrest of peaceful demonstrators and most of the presidential candidates, leaders the democratic opposition and a large number of civil society activists.
The Parliament calls for further targeted economic sanctions against the government, such as a freeze of all financial aid provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Furthermore, in line with the joint statement issued on 12 January by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and several EP committees and delegations, MEPs restate their demand for an EU travel ban and financial asset freeze to be imposed on Belarusian authorities, state officials, members of the judiciary and security officers responsible for the brutal post-election repression. These sanctions, as demanded by MEPs, should remain in force minimum until all political prisoners and detainees are released.
Council and Commission have been requested to ease visa access to the EU for Belarusian citizens and amplify its financial support to independent media (such as TV Belsat, European Radio for Belarus or Radio Racja) and NGOs promoting democracy and opposing the regime, while halting aid for state-owned media and facilitating NGOs banned in the country to register and be able to benefit from EU programmes.