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EU executive to reroute 53 million euros to help civil society, fight against COVID in Belarus

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen delivers a speech during a plenary session on the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium July 23, 2020. Francois Walschaerts/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission will reroute 53 million euros earmarked for Belarus away from the government and towards civil society, victims of the state crackdown on protesters and the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the bloc’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Kate Abnett