The presidents of Romania, Lithuania and Poland will European Union leaders at a summit later this week to offer a support package for Belarus, if the country holds a democratic election.
The proposed package for the economic transformation of “a democratic Belarus” would include a favorable trade regime with the EU, visa-free travel and support in negotiations to enter the World Trade Organization, according to the statement, published on the President Klaus Iohannis’ website.
Financial assistance for reforms, and help to diversify its energy sector and transition towards liberal economy was also part of the support package, the statement said.
The three leaders said they would stand with the citizens “of Belarus in building a democratic path, via democratically elected state leadership, a free civil society, market economy and the rule of law,”
The three former communist nations, now members of the EU and NATO, said they were prepared to “offer our expertise and know-how along the path of political and economic reforms, building independent institutions and safeguarding the environment, where respect for human rights and the freedom of speech would be an unshakable fundamental norm of society.”
Protests erupted in Belarus following a presidential election last month that President Alexander Lukashenko says he won by a landslide, but the opposition and the West say was rigged.
He has been in power since 1994, and has vowed not to resign, and gets support from Russia.
The EU has said it would impose sanctions on Minsk for alleged election fraud and human rights abuses, but hasn’t followed through.
EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation, the coronavirus pandemic, and foreign relations.