The reaction of Belarussian authorities to the European Parliament's resolution was traditionally tough
The European Union intends to provide direct funds to create the civil society in Belarus. Head of the European Commission's Delegation to Belarus, Ambassador Ian Boag, announced that the EU would use new financial mechanisms to strengthen the civil society in addition to the TACIS program, the projects of which had been coordinated with the Belarussian government.
The relations between the EU and Belarus have been worsening for quite a while already. On March 10th, the European Parliament released a statement, in which it was said that the Belarussian regime should be denounced as dictatorship. European parliamentarians are concerned about last year's referendum, which endowed President Alexander Lukashenko with an opportunity to run at all impending presidential elections, about the suppression of independent media outlets in the country and so on.
The resolution of the European Parliament says that personal accounts of President Lukashenko and other high-ranking Belarussian officials should be tracked and frozen. In addition, it was suggested the EU should extend the list of Belarussian officials, whose entry to Belarus must be denied. The decision of the European Parliament also stipulates for the establishment of TV and radio stations to broadcast their programs in Belarus. European parliamentarians said that the situation in Belarus would be a subject for constant consultations between the EU and Russia.
The reaction of Belarussian authorities to the resolution was traditionally tough. “The appearance of another stereotyped document depreciates the European Parliament's role and the significance of this European institute,” a spokesman for the Belarussian Foreign Ministry, Ruslan Yesin said. “The resolution urges to run a blind and fruitless course,” the official said.
The European resolution echoes with the Act on Democracy in Belarus, which the USA passed last year. However, the worsening of relations with Europe might exert a much more serious influence on the country. “All EU states received political recommendations to consider Belarus a country, in which dictatorship reigns. There are several major trade partners of Belarus among those states,” scientist of politics Alexander Feduta said in an interview with Vremya Novostei.