23 June 2021, Wednesday, 8:23
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Disconnecting from SWIFT and Sanctions on Potash and Oil: The European Parliament Adopted a Resolution on Belarus

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Disconnecting from SWIFT and Sanctions on Potash and Oil: The European Parliament Adopted a Resolution on Belarus

The resolution was supported by the majority of the deputies.

Today the European Parliament approved the resolution on Belarus by a majority of votes. 626 MEPs voted for the resolution, 16 against, 36 people abstained.

In addition to political statements, the resolution also deals with economic sanctions. In particular, issues that are quite acute for Belarus are the shutdown of SWIFT and sectoral sanctions on the oil refining, potash, and other industries.

MEPs urge European companies to be especially careful when doing business in Belarus, as well as "refrain from any new investments and publicly protest against the ongoing repression by the Belarusian authorities in the country."

In addition, the deputies demand that the EU member states and the European Commission refuse any new credit lines and investments to Belarus, take measures so that European financial institutions do not buy bonds or any other financial instruments from the Belarusian government or affiliated structures.

"The European Parliament welcomes the fact that the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have suspended funding for projects in the Belarusian public sector," the statement says, "and calls for an investigation into how unused funds can be redirected to civil society and the private sector."

The MPs propose to impose economic sanctions "against state and private companies controlled by the regime or closely related to its business interests or known for firing their employees for participating in strikes or protests."

One of the important requirements is to introduce sectoral sanctions, in particular, in relation to crude oil and petroleum products, potash, steel, and woodworking industries.

“In addition, the European Parliament calls for the termination of cooperation and financing of Belarusian state-owned banks and for limiting credit lines from international banks for subsidiary banks in Belarus, as well as for considering the possibility of temporarily excluding Belarus from the SWIFT system,” the statement says.

The resolution also says that the deputies are asking the companies of the European Union, in particular Siemens AG, “to stop cooperation with the Belarusian authorities through the exchange of technologies and know-how.” Also, the deputies demand to stop the smuggling of cigarettes from Belarus. At the same time, they call on the EU member states to help those who may suffer from sanctions against Belarus.

The resolution also says about concerns about the use of the Astravets nuclear power plant, which is located 45 kilometers from Vilnius. The MPs urge to introduce "measures of protection against direct or indirect sale of the Belarusian electricity produced by the Astravets power plant to the EU markets."

Meanwhile, the resolution talks about holding an international conference “The Future of Democratic Belarus” to resolve the crisis in the country, as well as to “investigate crimes and prosecute for their commission.” The MPs propose to hold it with the participation of international financial institutions, the G7 countries, member states and EU institutions, and so on.

In addition, the deputies welcome the plan of "economic support for a future democratic Belarus in the amount of 3 billion euros, presented by the Commission" and call on the Commission and the Council of the European Union to further develop and promote this plan.