Today, 28 May, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen notified Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and other democratic leaders that the EU Economic Plan for Democratic Belarus had been approved. This means that the EU has already promised financing for the first 2-3 years of development of the new Belarus. The team of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya gave a press briefing on how the Plan will be implemented.
Head of the Cabinet of Representatives of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Valery Kavaleuski:
“The very adoption of the EU Economic Plan for a Democratic Belarus shows a very clear contrast between what is happening in a country under an occupation regime and what the future offers when democratic change occurs. Belarusians are part of the European family. Lukashenka often said that «we are there for no one, nobody waits for us there», but it is obvious that this is not true. We’re wanted and willing to help.
We thank Poland and the other countries that participated in the creation of the Plan. We thank our partners – Coordination Council, National Anti-crisis Management, Team of Veronica and Valeriy Tsepkalo – on May 9, we all sent a letter to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen calling for the publication of the Plan».
Economic Representative Ales Aliakhnovich:
The initiator of the Plan was the Polish government, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Moravetsky voiced this initiative on September 11, 2020. The European Commission then worked out the plan for several months with the assistance of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and her representatives.
The total amount of the EU Economic Plan is €3 billion. This amount is divided into three parts:
1. Supporting economic growth.
This part will be allocated directly to the country’s budget – after the democratic changes – and the Ministry of Finance will distribute the funds itself. Last week, we presented a draft Programme of support to strike movement members, citizens and businesses affected by repressions. It includes the compensation of fines, the cancellation of debts on contracts and the rehabilitation of those who have suffered, have been imprisoned and have been prosecuted for protesting. And part of this program will be financed from the EU Economic Plan.
In order to support economic growth, a high-level Belarus-EU Investment Forum will be held under the new Belarus, as well as a high-level EU donors' meeting for grants for the economic transformation of Belarus.
2. Assistance in organizing reforms.
This part is allocated for all the reforms that the new Belarus will need: political, judicial, law enforcement, economic, educational, etc.
3. Investment in infrastructure and the private sector.
This part is allocated by the European bank for reconstruction and development and the European investment bank with grant support from the Investment neighbourhood platform, to which Belarus does not yet have access. Belarus will receive long-term and low-cost credit resources for investment in transport infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste management and municipal infrastructure.
The EU Economic Plan is only the first part of international assistance to the Belarusian economy of the future. 3 billion euros is just what the EU has already promised to allocate to Belarus for development for the first 2-3 years.
In addition to the EU, there are several organizations and structures that are ready to join Belarus. For example, the IMF: when it signs a stabilization programme with a new government, Belarus will be able to count on another $3-4 billion. Also Belarus is ready to support the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the democracies themselves – the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, the United States. According to our calculations, the total amount of aid to the new Belarus could amount to 10 billion dollars. And now we are doing everything that the day after the new free elections this assistance will be given to Belarus and that every Belarusian will feel an improvement in his well-being».28 May 2021 в 17:25