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  • Statement On Non-Discrimination and Closing the EU Space for Belarusian Citizens by EaP CSF BNP

    We, Belarusian activists and civil society organizations, united within the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, condemn the military invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. Ukrainians heroically resist aggression and do everything possible to protect their citizens and the country.


    The author­i­ties of the Repub­lic of Belarus have pro­vid­ed Russ­ian troops with a bridge­head for the inva­sion to Ukraine from the ter­ri­to­ry of Belarus. This fact makes them com­plic­it in this aggres­sion and draws a clear divi­sion line with­in the soci­ety of Belarus. The absolute major­i­ty of Belaru­sian cit­i­zens are against the war, against any par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Repub­lic of Belarus in an armed inva­sion, includ­ing against the pro­vi­sion of the ter­ri­to­ry of our coun­try for mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. Many cit­i­zens, orga­ni­za­tions, author­i­ta­tive peo­ple in the sphere of sci­ence, cul­ture, sports, a busi­ness of Belarus, despite the repres­sions and attempts to silence them, active­ly express their posi­tion against this war. After the repres­sions of 2020–2021 in Belarus, many of them chose Ukraine as their new home, and now, togeth­er with the Ukraini­ans, they are par­tic­i­pat­ing in coun­ter­ing aggres­sion, as well as in solv­ing numer­ous human­i­tar­i­an tasks relat­ed to the war. Sig­nif­i­cant sup­port for Ukraine was ini­ti­at­ed by Belaru­sian dias­po­ras in the EU coun­tries.

    At the same time, we are increas­ing­ly wit­ness­ing when ordi­nary Belaru­sians fall under var­i­ous sanc­tions and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry mea­sures togeth­er with the de fac­to author­i­ties of Belarus. Our Belaru­sian friends and col­leagues abroad are increas­ing­ly being attacked only on the basis of belong­ing to Belarus, which is clear­ly caused by a poor under­stand­ing of the actu­al state of affairs in Belaru­sian soci­ety.

    For two years already, our com­pa­tri­ots with an active civic posi­tion have not been able to ensure prop­er secu­ri­ty for them­selves and their fam­i­lies. Jus­tice has been com­plete­ly destroyed in Belarus, law enforce­ment agen­cies can break into any house with­out any legal grounds, there are more than 1,000 polit­i­cal pris­on­ers behind bars in the coun­try, and for any anti-war protests, the author­i­ties pun­ish peo­ple with reg­u­lar admin­is­tra­tive arrests.

    In recent days, there have been calls from indi­vid­ual EU rep­re­sen­ta­tives to stop issu­ing Schen­gen and nation­al visas to Belaru­sian cit­i­zens. We believe that such actions will not help to cope with mil­i­tary aggres­sion but rather will fur­ther com­pli­cate the life and secu­ri­ty of ordi­nary cit­i­zens, who are actu­al­ly in a “closed room” any­way. Please note that the pos­si­ble refusal to issue visas to our fel­low cit­i­zens vio­lates the rights and jeop­ar­dizes Belaru­sian­swho con­tin­ue to tell the truth and share Euro­pean val­ues.

    We wel­come the actions of indi­vid­ual Euro­pean politi­cians aimed at reduc­ing aggres­sion and hate speech against Belaru­sian cit­i­zens and call on oth­er Euro­pean politi­cians to fol­low their exam­ple.

    We call on our Euro­pean part­ners to pro­vide the cit­i­zens of Belarus, who were forced to leave Belarus and Ukraine after the start of the war, equal rights with the cit­i­zens of Ukraine and addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty guar­an­tees in the Euro­pean Union with­in the frame­work of already launched legal instru­ments, as well as to main­tain the mech­a­nism for issu­ing Euro­pean and nation­al visas for cit­i­zens of Belarus.

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