MEP: European Business Must Leave Belarus

All European companies should pull out of Belarus, said Kristiina Ojuland, member of the European Parliament, in her speech held at the Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg on March 10.

"European companies and investors need to leave Belarus, unless they want to receive bloody money and support Lukashenka’s criminal regime directly or indirectly," said Ojuland during the debate over the resolution on Belarus.

It gives a very bad signal that the as the European Parliament has repeatedly raised its concern over the situation in Belarus, the country's government has failed to react in a positive manner, Ojuland said.

The basic rights, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are still being trampled underfoot in Belarus, explained Ojuland, despite the European Parliament resolution adopted in January, which imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Belarusian officials, judges and security service officers involved in the violent after-election crackdown of December 19, 2010.

"Moreover, the continuing reports of mental and physical torture and attempts to recruit more KGB informers, are sending the EU a strong signal that our previous message did not reach Lukashenka's regime," Ojuland said.

"Obviously we need to raise our voice more and express our dissatisfaction with the situation in Belarus even more clearly,” Ojuland said, calling on the European Commission to present the parliament with a comprehensive list of measures that could be applied against the regime.

The discussion was followed by a voting where the European Parliament unanimously adopted the resolution on Belarus which calls on all relevant EU institutions and partner countries to consider extending of sanctions to prosecutors, judges and KGB staff associated with the abuse of human rights.

Ingrid Teesalu


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