I would like to thank you for your petition to the European Commission regarding the deteriorating situation in Belarus. I have been asked to respond.
The European Union condemns the repression in Belarus, including the detainment of numerous political prisoners and human rights activists. We are leading the international response to the situation in the country and have taken clear action. The EU reacted swiftly to the forced and unlawful landing of Ryanair flight 4978 in Minsk on 23 May 2021, by introducing the fourth package of sanctions . 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 whom are prominent business figures who support and benefit from the Lukashenko regime.
The EU is also fully engaged in holding the Belarusian authorities to account in relevant international organisations, particularly the OSCE and the UN Human Rights Council, where the EU again led the Resolution at the 46th session. The EU has called on the International Civil Aviation Organization to urgently investigate this unprecedented and unacceptable incident and is looking forward to its conclusions.
Together with a group of EU Member States and other like-minded countries, the EU is supporting the International Accountability Platform for Belarus  , an independent and impartial platform for the collection, verification and preservation of documentation and evidence of serious human rights violations perpetrated in Belarus during and after the August 2020 presidential election. In addition to political support, the EU will also provide financial support to the Platform, once preparations are finalised.
I would like to assure you that the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamentalfreedoms remains at the core of EU actions. The European Union stands by the people of Belarus and supports their democratic choice and fundamental freedoms.