9 Aug 2022 18:46

EU to lift sanctions imposed on Belarus, grant it 3 bln euros as soon it transitions to democracy - Borrell

BRUSSELS. Aug 9 (Interfax) - The European Union will lift sanctions imposed on Belarus as soon as a transition to democracy takes place there and will implement a plan of economic support worth three billion euros to the country, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel said.

"We stand ready to mobilize a 3-billion-euro comprehensive plan of economic support once a democratic transition will have taken place in Belarus," Borrel said in a blog post dedicated to the events in Belarus in the summer of 2020.

The EU and its allies have imposed six packages of sanctions against Belarusian entities and individuals for suppressing the opposition, orchestrating a refugee crisis on the border, the forced landing of a Ryanair plane, and participation in the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Borrel said.

"We have made it clear that sanctions are reversible," he said, adding that they will be lifted when "the Belarusian authorities halt repressions, release and rehabilitate all political prisoners, start a genuine, inclusive national dialogue" and cease participation in Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

Since August 2020, the EU has committed about 65 million euros in support to "the victims of repression, civil society, independent media, women, youth and students, small businesses, health and culture" in Belarus, he said.

Mass protests against the outcome of the presidential election, in which Alexander Lukashenko, in office since 1994, was declared the winner, continued for more than half a year in Belarus after August 9, 2020. The opposition did not recognize the election outcome.