Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian leaders propose EU assistance plan for Belarus

  • 2020-09-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, together with the presidents of Poland and Romania, has called upon European Union to consider an assistance plan for Belarus.

According to the presidential office, Nauseda and his Polish and Romanian counterparts issued a joint declaration calling on EU institutions and member states to consider a package of measures "for a democratic Belarus for the political, economic, and societal transition of the country".

The plan will be presented during the forthcoming European Council meeting on September 24-25.

"The three leaders urged the EU to extend a package of assistance that would encompass facilitation of trade with the EU and assistance in WTO accession negotiations; a visa-free regime for citizens of Belarus; diversification of the economy and the energy sector; as well as access to financial resources for the restructuring of the economy, increasing international financial institutions’ presence and activity in reforming the economy and boosting investments," the presidential office said in a statement.

The leaders who signed the statement reminded that their countries stood firmly for freedom and democratic principles, recognized the results of free, fair, and transparent elections only if carried out in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and with the presence of international observers.

The presidents of Lithuania, Poland, and Romania reminded that "nobody else, but the people of Belarus had the ultimate right to decide the destiny of their country".

The leaders believe that a prosperous Belarus built on social trust and common vision is a precondition for a more stable and secure Europe.

The three presidents agreed to stand together with the people of Belarus in building a democratic state based on the rule of law, free civil society, and market economy.

"If people of Belarus decide to implement political and economic reforms, to build independent institutions for the protection of human rights and freedom of expression, we will assist by sharing our expertise and know-how," Nauseda said.

The leaders also called on the international community to join in preparing "a positive agenda for Belarus" together with a support package for the political, economic, and societal transition of the country.

Belarus has been rocked by unprecedented protests ever since the August 9 presidential election when Alexander Lukashenko, who rules Belarus since 1994, was declared the winner. The country's opposition and Western countries consider the vote to have been rigged.