The European Conservatives and Reformists Party is extremely concerned with the ongoing political and democratic crisis in Belarus, following Lukashenko’s attempts to extend his autocratic rule through the 2020 fraudulent elections. A continuous crack-down against any opposition voice has followed since. As friends of Belarus, we fully recognise the aspirations of the Belarusian people for a democratic, prosperous, independent and sovereign country. We call the EU, its members states and democratic international community to increase their efforts in assisting the people of Belarus in achieving this goal. Belarus is our close neighbour. We share common history and also have common future. We stand by the people of Belarus and call the EU to take concrete actions and provide substantial assistance to the people of Belarus.. Earlier in April, Ryhor Kastusioŭ, the leader of the BPF Party (formerly known as the Belarusian Popular Front) has been arrested by Belarusian security forces as part of a recent string of political arrests by the Lukashenko regime. Mr. Kastusioŭ has been the leader of the BPF since 2017, the same year that the Party joined the European Conservatives and Reformists Party. BPF activists, along with a number of other opposition political parties, have been subject to harassment by the Lukashenko regime for a number of years, most recently for their involvement in the protests that have taken place across the country since the last election. The BPF had to abstain from nomination of its own candidate because there were no minimal conditions for free campaigning and free and fair elections. In late May, Vitold Ashurak, a political activist, who serving a 5-year sentence term for leading protests against the regime, died in prison. Only days later, the Belarusian government forced a European commercial flight to land in Minsk and arrested Roman Protasevich, a journalist and political activist, who opposed the Lukashenko regime.
The ECR Party Vice President Anna Fotyga MEP made the following statement:
“The repressions used by the regime, the scale of brutality and the number of victims are unprecedented. The Union’s response should therefore be proportional. The regime must know that its actions will not be anonymous. Therefore we need a cross-party cooperation, European solidarity and use of all available tools, including the institution of universal jurisdiction. Further steps are also needed, such as sectoral sanctions. It’s time the Lukashenko regime face the consequence.”