Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Insufficient democratic efforts: European Parliament adopts new resolution on Belarus

BelarusFeed

Insufficient democratic efforts: European Parliament adopts new resolution on Belarus
MEPs dubbed Belarus progress in upholding democratic values is insufficient in a resolution voted on Thursday, November 24. Most of the issues in the document are old concerns, the only new point being the consturction of the first Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The European MPs noted that Belarus is taking new political prisoners, harassing the opposition, using capital punishment, and failing to address safety concerns about its first nuclear power plant, being built in Ostrovets.

They stressed that since 1994 no free and fair elections have been conducted in Belarus and that its attempts to make progress during 2015 presidential and 2016 parliamentary elections were insufficient.

Key sectors of the Belarusian economy are still under state control, no new political party has been registered since 2000, new ways to harass or even jail the opposition are being found, the official press release states.

The resolution calls on Belarus to stop these developments.

The European politicans also urged Belarus to join a global moratorium on execution of the death penalty as a first step towards permanent abolition. They noted that the Belarusian Supreme Court has confirmed four death penalties this year.

Finally, Europe is concerned about the safety of building work at the first-ever Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets, close to the border and the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. MEPs called for international supervision of the implementation of this project, to ensure it meets all nuclear and environment safety standards and urge the Council and the Commission to use their levers to press Belarus to conduct stress-tests on its nuclear site.

The resolution on Belarus was passed by 468 votes to 21, with 93 abstentions, the statement concludes.