EU to quadruple aid to Belarusian society

WARSAW, POLAND: The European Union will quadruple its aid to Belarus from 4 to 15.6 million euros (21.59 million dollars) to support human rights, European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said Wednesday at a donors' conference in Warsaw, Poland.

Opposition groups in Belarus will also receive nearly 90 million euros ($124 million) in aid from 36 donor nations after the meeting in Poland. The aid will be directed at Belarusian non-government organizations, independent media, and students.

Poland's foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, sent a direct message to President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus at the meeting of EU foreign ministers, Polskie radio reported.

“Mr President, you are losing […] no one is ready to believe in an 80 percent election result. Your methods have no place in modern Europe. Sooner or later you will have to flee from your citizens and find shelter in a country which professes even lower standards than you do,” Sikorski said.

The meeting in Warsaw on policy towards Belarus is being attended by foreign ministers from Estonia, Sweden and Romania, deputy heads of diplomacy of other EU states as well as representatives of the US State department.

More than 600 protesters were detained during the post-election mass protests against the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko on December 19. The opposition alleged vote rigging.


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