(DF) “Bulgaria Backs EU’s Economic Plan for Democratic Development of Belarus”

June 21 (BTA) – At a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council here on Monday, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev expressed support for and solidarity with the people of Belarus in its efforts to build a democratic future and welcomed the EU’s comprehensive plan of economic support for a democratic Belarus, Stoev’s Ministry said in a press release. “Bulgaria supports the 3 billion euro economic plan for democratic development of Belarus which will be activated if there is a change for the better in that country. The Belarusian people is entitled to free development, economic recovery and a better future,” the chief Bulgarian diplomat said during an informal breakfast meeting of the EU foreign ministers with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. In connection with the ongoing deterioration of the situation in Belarus and the enduring repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted a new, fourth package of restrictive measures, this time designating seven individuals and one entity in connection to the forced and unlawful landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on May 23, 2021. A political decision was made to impose economic sanctions that would significantly increase the pressure on the Lukashenko regime. The Council agenda also included discussions on Iraq and the EU-Latin America relations and a review of a broad range of current international issues. During an informal exchange with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein over a working lunch, Stoev said, speaking also on behalf of his Austrian, Czech, Croatian and Polish counterparts, that they fully support the efforts of the Iraqi Government to carry out economic, political and social reforms and to press ahead with progress in the area of security and counterterrorism. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell presented the results of his visits to Lebanon and Indonesia. Ministers discussed EU-Russia and EU-Turkey relations in the context of the forthcoming European Council meeting due on June 24 and 25. RI/LG //