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EU justifies buying surveillance drones for Belarus - Euractiv
The EU has bought 15 surveillance drones for Belarusian authorities, prompting alarm they could be used against pro-democracy protesters.

Lithuanian police handed over the equipment to the Belarusian State Committee for Forensic Science on 16 September - in the middle of a brutal police crackdown, which has seen thousands of people snatched off the streets, beaten, and tortured.

And the EU foreign service paid for them out of an €850,000 neighbourhood project being handled by Latvia and Lithuania.

The security cooperation appeared to go against the EU's vocal support for the pro-democracy movement.

For its part, Lithuania said the drones were delivered in September due to "contract procedures".

But Vilnius "suspended all payments to the Belarusian side related to joint EU-Belarus projects as of 9 August", when the protests broke out.

The drones had not been used for anything yet, the EU foreign service added.

by Bernard on Wed Oct 7th, 2020 at 06:15:57 PM EST
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