Bipartisan Shaheen-Wicker Resolution Reaffirming U.S. Support for the Belarusian Pro-Democracy Movement Unanimously Clears the Senate

February 02, 2022

**Resolution Follows Shaheen & Wicker’s Bipartisan Launch of Free Belarus Caucus in the U.S. Senate**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation – and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) issued the following statements after their bipartisan resolution reaffirming U.S. support for the Belarusian pro-democracy movement unanimously cleared the Senate. The resolution calls for free and fair elections, reaffirms bipartisan support in the Senate for the pro-democracy movement, free media and the Belarusian people and condemns Lukashenka’s acts of transnational repression. The resolution is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ed Markey (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).

“The unanimous support in the Senate for our bipartisan resolution sends a resounding message from the United States to Lukashenka: we are watching and there will be consequences for this malevolence,” said Shaheen. “Lukashenka’s gross human rights abuses, which include the incarceration of over 1,000 political prisoners, cannot go without response from the United States and the global community. His dangerous deployment of hybrid warfare and emboldening of Putin’s escalating violence and aggression undermines our global stability and the national security of our allies and partners. Lukashenka must be held to account and the United States and our allies need to be prepared to do so.”

“The United States Senate stands for freedom in Belarus,” said Wicker. “We will continue to send an unmistakable message to Lukashenko, his cronies, and his patron Vladimir Putin that their repressive regime is a blight on a free Europe. The Senate will continue working to advance free and fair elections, a free press, and a better future for Belarus.”

Shaheen and Wicker established and serve as co-chairs of the Free Belarus Caucus in the Senate, which includes a bipartisan group of seven other Senators with the purpose of advocating for democracy and free and fair elections in Belarus. The launch of the caucus followed the Senators’ meeting with Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Last month, Shaheen and Wicker returned with a bipartisan group of Senators, which Shaheen led, to Ukraine to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s pro-democratic aspirations and in defense of their sovereignty against Russian aggression. Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen led a bipartisan delegation to Eastern Europe, which included Ukraine as well as Lithuania, where she met with Tsikhanouskaya to discuss the Lukashenka regime’s increasing human rights abuses against political opposition. In June, Shaheen questioned Tsikhanouskaya during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in Belarus. Last year, Senator Shaheen penned an op-ed in USA Today on why the West must come together to address the political situation in Belarus.

Text of the resolution is available here.

Senator Shaheen also entered a statement for the Congressional Record on the political situation in Belarus and support for the pro-democracy movement, which can be read in full here.