I would like to thank you for your e-mail of 27 May to the High Representative / Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, regarding the detention of students in Belarus.
The European Union condemns the repression that we are witnessing in Belarus, including the detainment of students, the numerous political prisoners and human rights activists. Let me assure you that the EU Delegation in Minsk puts in considerable efforts on ensuring access is granted to its staff and Member State representatives to as many court trials of political prisoners and human rights activists in Belarus as possible.
As part of the new assistance programme “EU4Belarus: solidarity with the people of Belarus”, the EU is providing 8 million euros of support to youth, including through a scholarship programme for students and young professionals affected by the political crisis . Also foreseen within the programme is further support to the European Humanities University.
Furthermore, the EU has been pressing the Belarusian authorities to release all detained protesters immediately and unconditionally. The EU imposed restrictive measures against an additional 78 Belarusian individuals and 8 entities in its fourth package on Belarus  . Sanctions have been coordinated with like-minded partners, such as the UK, US and Canada, and now apply to a total of 166 persons and 15 entities in Belarus. Among those targeted are also several prominent business figures who support and benefit from the Lukashenko regime. These sanctions therefore send a further strong signal to the backers of the regime, that their continued support for Lukashenko comes at a substantial cost.
I would like to assure you that the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms remains at the core of EU actions. The European Union stands by the people of Belarus and supports their democratic choice and fundamental freedoms.