On 10 June, the European Parliament called on the EU to punish those involved in forcing a plane to land in Minsk on 23 May and in the detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich and and Sofia Sapega.
In a resolution adopted on 10 June with 626 votes in favour, 16 against and 36 abstentions, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) strongly condemned the ‘Ryanair hijacking’ as an act of ‘state terrorism’, and called for Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, as well as all other political prisoners in Belarus, to be immediately and unconditionally released.
The resolution also urges the European Council to sanction the Belarusian individuals and entities involved in the forced landing and the abductions as soon as possible.
In addition, MEPs called for swift economic and sectoral measures targeting key Belarusian industries, in particular the crude oil and oil-products, potash, steel and wood-processing sectors. According to the resolution, all financial support to the regime must be strictly denied, any new credit lines to the country’s banks refused, and investments in infrastructure or economic undertakings must be halted. European financial institutions must be prevented from acquiring bonds or any other financial instrument issued by the Belarusian government and affiliated public institutions.
The resolution also calls for Belarus to be suspended from international sport bodies and international events, including European and world championships, and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. MEPs further urge the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to remove broadcasting rights for the upcoming EURO 2020 football tournament from Belarusian state television TVR and assign them to the independent Belsat TV free of charge.
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