The European Union (EU) foreign ministers have agreed to add to the list of sanctions imposed on the Belarussian regime and to include Alexander Lukashenko. It was also decided to prepare new sanctions against Russia
EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday, 12 October, and, at Germany’s initiative, did agree to draw up a new round of sanctions to include Lukashenko.
For two months, Europe hesitated to include Lukashenko himself in the list, hoping he would be open to dialogue. But now, given both the escalating situation and the fact that no signals have been received from Lukashenko of his willingness to engage in dialogue, he will also be included in the sanctions list, which means a ban on entry into the EU and an asset freeze.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Joseph Borrell said that “Member States accepted the offer, recognizing that what had happened since the last agreement showed a complete reluctance on the part of Lukashenko to engage in any negotiations, contacts or other activities that could contribute to a democratic and peaceful settlement in Belarus. ”.
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs is also convinced that this time nothing will hinder the implementation of sanctions, as was the case when Cyprus used its veto.
Also, at the initiative of Germany and France, an agreement has been reached to impose new restrictions on Russia in connection with Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny poisoning, as no credible explanations have been received from Russia. All 27 Member States agreed to draft these sanctions. This is a political agreement: the sanctions themselves have yet to be prepared.
Reuters believes that the speed with which new sanctions have been agreed against Russia this time suggests that Europe is taking a tougher stance against Moscow. The last time in 2018, when was poisoned former Russian spy Skrippa and his daughter in Britain, it took almost a year for Europe to agree on sanctions.
Protests continue in Belarus against the results of the 9 August elections in Belarus. According to official results, the current authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won 80.1% of the voteswhile opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovska only 10.1%. However, the opposition, based on evidence of unprecedented violations, claims that these results are falsified. The protests are exacerbated by the violence against activists and the detention of opposition and journalists.
At the meeting in early October, the leaders of the EU member states reached an agreement on imposing sanctions on Belarusian officials. European Council President Charles Michel announced that “blacklist “will include 40 people. This will not include former President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
Earlier in September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, on the basis of a decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia and in coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Lithuania (MFA), decided to impose an indefinite ban on entry into Latvia. 101 Belarusian official from Belarus.
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