EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule said at a hearing in the European Parliament that the EU should respond to violations of human rights in Belarus not only by imposing sanctions. In particular, the diplomat stressed that the EU visa regime simplification would be of great help to the people of Belarus.
According to Stefan Fule, it must involve not only the cost of visas, but also the simplification of their preparation procedure. In this case, the Commissioner noted that the EU should emphasize, while taking such a decision, that the simplification of visa regime would not be a gift to the Belarusian authorities.
A European diplomat also said that the European Parliament had the opportunity for scholarships to the students, expelled from universities for participation in the demonstration on December 19, so that they could continue their studies at Europe universities.
In addition, Stefan Fule believes that Belarus, in spite of the repression against the opposition and civil society, must become a full member of the «Eastern Partnership,» although its participation is now limited.
Fule Supports Sanctions against Belarusian Leadership
However, the commissioner stressed that the EU shouldn’t ignore the persecution of democratic activists in Belarus, journalists, independent media and civil society.
He reiterated the recent statement by the EU High Representative for External Affairs Catherine Ashton that «not weeks, but days and hours» were left for the authorities of Belarus in order to release all those, detained on December 19. Otherwise, the European Union will impose sanctions against the Belarusian leadership, said Stefan Fule.