In a resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament expressed strong solidarity with Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia, as well as other EU countries which, it stressed, had recently fallen victim to attempts by the Belarusian regime to divert large numbers of migrants and refugees to the EU's external borders, resulting in hundreds of people detained after illegally crossing the EU border and even several deaths.

 

MEPs have stated that Belarusian state-sponsored irregular migrant border crossings into the EU, combined with a disinformation campaign, is a form of hybrid warfare aimed at intimidating and destabilising the European Union.

 

According to MEPs, both EU institutions and member states must urgently address the multidimensional crisis on the border with Belarus to help the migrants stranded there and provide them with the necessary support.

 

Belarus faces International Court of Justice

 

In its resolution, Parliament also stressed the need to consider referring Belarus to the International Court of Justice for the crimes committed on a massive scale against Belarusian citizens by the regime of the illegitimate dictator Alexander Lukashenko. According to MEPs, this should be done based on violations of the Chicago Convention, the Montreal Convention, and the UN Convention against Torture committed by the Belarusian state.

 

MEPs condemned the "repression, torture and ill-treatment of peaceful Belarusians" that has continued unabated since popular protests erupted over the fraudulent presidential election last August.

 

The EP also condemned acts of repression and hostile actions taken by the authorities against representatives of the Polish minority and Polish-language schools in Belarus; called in this connection for the immediate and unconditional release of Angelika Borys, the journalist Andrzej Poczobut and other political prisoners.

 

More EU sanctions needed

 

Furthermore, the resolution regrets that the EU economic sanctions imposed have only had a partial impact on the Lukashenko regime. It, therefore, called on EU countries to further strengthen targeted economic sanctions, focused on key Belarusian sectors, and to urgently introduce the fifth package of sanctions against Belarusian individuals and entities engaged in unremitting persecution.

 

MEPs also called for unequivocal support for the Belarusian democratic opposition in organising free and fair elections under international observation. They also condemned Alexander Lukashenko's continued contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reiterated the urgent need to expose Russia's support for Lukashenko's brutal crackdown on the Belarusian people, as well as its involvement in hybrid actions against the EU.

 

The text was adopted by 506 votes to 29, with 139 abstentions.