What can the EU do to counter human rights abuses in Eastern European countries?

In the third of the Quo vadis trilogy of conferences on Belarus, Ukraine and Russia organised by New Europeans, speakers from around the world marked UN Human Rights day – 10 December – by calling for more action by the EU to counter abuses.

Veronika Mudra Chairwoman White Ribbon Ukraine​  and Head of the White Ribbon Campaign USA, addressed the meeting, and called for similar campaigns to be started in Belarus and in Russia.

Speaking from Los Angeles, California, she also called out the Putin regime for decriminalising violence against women and urged international organisations to pay more attention to the issue of domestic violence and abuse in Russia and the former Soviet states.

Olga Zubrilova from New Europeans Minsk was interviewed by Roger Casale, Executive director of New Europeans, about the latest developments in Belarus where her husband is currently in prison due to his participation in the protest. The interview also covered Lukashenko’s decision to close the border and also to re-open the unsafe Ostrovertsnuclear power plant.

She also pointed out that it is wrong to speak about the protestors as the ‘Belarus opposition’ – they are the Belarus majority, with independent polling evidence all pointing to a clear win by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in the elections of August 2020.

The meeting continued with presentations by Ekaterina Zuizuik representing the Belarus diaspora, Lina Kushch, First secretary of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists and Fedor Klimenko, Founder and Executive director of the Russian Monitor.

International commentators including Maria Laura Franciosi in Rome and Dr Wolfgang Ressman from near Hambach, Germany responded to the points raised.

There followed a Q&A with the audience on Facebook. The event was moderated by Professor honoris causa Oliver Védrine, who is based in Kiev,  Chief editor of the Russian Monitor and a board member, New Europeans Europe.​ All the speakers’ biographies are available on this link.

👉 Watch the first and second conference from the Quo Vadis Europa? series.

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