European Parliament President Roberta Metsola demonstrated support for Belarusian opposition forces led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya(Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


EP backs Belarus opposition’s push to undermine Belarus President’s ‘repression’


European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has joined forces with the Belarusian United Democratic Forces in condemnation of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s “unprecedented repression” and attempts to turn the country into “a satellite state of Russia”.

On May 3, Metsola co-signed a letter of intent solidifying co-operation between the European Parliament and the Belarusian opposition and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of an oppositional government operating from Lithuania and Poland.

Tsikhanouskaya fled Belarus after the alleged rigged elections of 2020. Two years later, she established the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus in exile, dedicated to “facilitating a transition to democracy in the country”.

In the letter, the European Parliament recognised “the courageous fight of the Belarusian people to establish democracy, preserve the independence and defend national identity in light of the Lukashenka regime’s dangerous undermining of the sovereignty of Belarus”.

The European Parliament pledged to “increase pressure on the [Belarusian] regime” through targeted measures and recommendations to EU institutions and Member States.

The document further outlined Belarus’s involvement in the war in Ukraine and recommended that the EP and Belarus opposition worked hand in hand in “demanding accountability for complicity in [alleged] war crimes and the crime of aggression against Ukraine”.

The letter also outlined various forms of assistance designed to bolster the Belarusian opposition through the “Eu4Belarus programme”.

That is a set of special measures adopted by the EU in response to the political crisis that followed the controversial 2020 presidential elections in Belarus.

Earlier this year, in an interview with the UK’s Financial Times, Věra Jourová, the Vice-President of the European Commission, urged Big Tech to promote opposition on social media in Belarus.

“The European Commission is urging Google and other big technology companies to help dissident Belarusian media by promoting their stories higher than those published by pro-regime outlets, opposition journalists argue are favoured by search algorithms,” she said.

Tsikhanouskaya praised her comments and stated it was “an important call”.

In addition, she proposed that Big Tech platforms “should support content in the Belarus language” and further amplify voices of dissent within the country.