Brussels urged the European Union to increase pressure on the Lukashenko regime and warned against strengthening the alliance with Russia

The alliance of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko strengthened despite pressure from the international community (Image: Reuters)

The European Union warned on Tuesday of this Vladimir Putin’s alliance with Alexander Lukashenko’s regime We will celebrate The future of the continental bloc’s relations with Russia.

European Union leaders It will take into account Russia’s support for the Belarusian regime When they sit down to consider the course they will take at the upcoming European Summit, as the Head of European Diplomacy has pointed out, Josep Borrell, at a debate in the European Parliament.

For the European Council at the end of the month, European diplomacy led by Borrell will present to heads of state and government a report with various options for deciding the future of relations with Moscow. which will also weigh the alliance developed with Minsk afterwards The rigged elections last August.

As Borrell admitted, Russia’s support is essential and has been renewed in recent weeks. I agree that we are facing a dictator and I agree that he has the support of Russia. I fully agree that we must continue to use compression tools.”, explained in his speech to the European Parliament.

He explained this to the deputies Minsk intensified repression against its population سكانand reached a point where “any expression of dissent is brutally suppressed”. “There are no longer mass protests because the repression is simply organized,” he denounced.

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy (Photo: EFE)
Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy (Photo: EFE)

For this reason, he advocated the approval of new sanctions against Lukashenko and his circle, without affecting Belarusian citizens as much as possible. “To make an omelette you have to break eggs. We will take measures that affect the economy, but we must support civil society, a free press, the rule of law and free elections”, pointed out.

throughout the discussion, Most MEPs called on the European Union to be firm and defend Belarusians from the regime’s repression by agreeing to new sanctions against Lukashenko.. Many insisted that the country’s opposition and civil society should be strengthened. In addition, they demanded to join forces with the United States to increase pressure on Minsk.

For his part, Borrell warned about it Hijacking a passenger plane by Belarus and beyond The arrest of the opposition journalist – Roman Protacevic – And his partner “crossed a lot of red lines”.

The Spanish diplomat said the “hijacking” of a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius “crossed many red lines” by posing a danger not only to the safety of more than a hundred passengers on board but also violating international aviation rules. He also considered the arrest of Protasevich and Subsequent forced confession It was broadcast on the official television press, which showed signs of torture.

Despite mounting international pressure, Lukashenko passed a law on Tuesday that amends criminal regulations and, among other measures, Tightens penalties for organizing unauthorized protests and rehabilitating Nazism.

Josep Borrell described it as "dictator" Alexander Lukashenko (Photo: Reuters / Valentin Ogirenko)
Josep Borrell described Alexander Lukashenko as a “dictator” (Photo: Reuters/Valentin Ogirenko)

Henceforth, persons who participated in the celebration of massive activities and infractions of order who have already received administrative penalties on two occasions within a year, They can be criminally prosecuted for up to three years in prison.

In addition, responsibility for organizing and participating in “acts flagrantly violating public order” is tightened, with a prison sentence of three to four years.

They will also encounter a file Criminal punishment of members of organizations declared as extremists and their collaborators.

Portal owners will also face penalties for publishing prohibited information and if this happens Repeating offenses twice a year will be fined or sentenced to up to two years in prison.

The tightening of criminal legislation is part of a series of repressive measures taken by Lukashenko After the massive anti-government protests that erupted in that country after the presidential elections in August 2020, which were not recognized by the opposition and Western countries.

With information from Europa Press and EFE

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