The European Commission this Friday presented a plan to support the democratic transition in Belarus, with which it aims to mobilize up to 3,000 million aid supplies, but which will only be activated if the country moves forward on the democratic path.
The proposal is in line with the agreement reached by the leaders of the 27 last autumn on a package in support of the Belarusian opposition and their struggle for democracy in the country. The plan comes amid escalating tensions with Minsk over the forced landing of the Ryanair flight to arrest a Belarusian journalist.
In any case, the initiative, which requires the approval of the member states, will be blocked until Minsk is opened to carry out a democratic and inclusive transition involving the opposition to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.
According to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, this packet sends a message in two directions. “For the people of Belarus we have seen and heard their desire for change and democracy. For the Belarusian authorities, oppression, brutality and coercion will not give legitimacy to the authoritarian regime,” he stressed, adding that it was “time for change” Course “in the country and initiate a democratic transition” accompanied by the EU “.
For his part, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, has insisted that the financial support that the EU can provide is a “real incentive” for Minsk to change course. And he pointed out that this plan, together with the sanctions maintained by the EU and the extension in the event of the forced landing, shows the bloc’s commitment to democracy in the former Soviet republic.
The plan includes EUR 400 million in direct assistance from the European Neighborhood Fund, to which various financial initiatives, including a future donor conference, will be added to support economic recovery in Belarus. With all these instruments, the Commission ensures that it can mobilize loans of up to 5,000 million.
In addition, there is a further 100 million in the areas of infrastructure and green and digital transformation, which the European executive would like to use as a lever to achieve investments in this area worth 1,000 million.
The aim is to directly support the competitiveness of the economy and to support small and medium-sized enterprises directly. Improving communication and traffic to facilitate trade with the EU; Promoting digital transformation and green energy in Belarus; and invest in democratic, transparent and accountable institutions.