The European Union gave the green light on Friday to sanction those responsible for the breakdown of protesters in Belarus, following the controversial re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.
A European agreement to sanction Belarusian officials. The European Union gave the green light on Friday (August 14) to sanction those behind the repression carried out in Belarus following the controversial re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, several European officials told AFP.
“The foreign ministers have given their consent to sanction those responsible for the repression and a list of names will be drawn up,” said the same source, while the video conference bringing together the foreign ministers continues.
Several European leaders had already indicated that they wanted to go this route. Germany, which holds a six-month presidency of EU meetings, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had called for sanctions for those guilty of human rights abuses.
The head of Lithuanian diplomacy, Linas Linkevicius, interviewed by AFP, had expressed the same will: “I will propose to impose individual sanctions on those officials and politicians who are directly responsible for the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters and also the falsification of elections.”
Lithuania welcomed the Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was forced into exile after contesting the victory Alexander Lukashenko. She called on Friday for “peaceful protests” in her country.
Minsk, for its part, said it was ready on Friday for a “constructive dialogue” with the foreigner and began releasing hundreds of people arrested since Monday. Many protesters condemned the extreme brutality of the repression of power.
Poland and Lithuania in support of opponents
The Polish government has earmarked an envelope of 11 million euros to help Belarusians obtain visas and finance their installation in Poland and to support independent media and NGOs in Belarus, announced to parliament on Friday. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
There are also scholarships for Belarusians who continue their studies at Polish universities.
Lithuania, for its part, offered to treat Belarusian protesters injured during the demonstrations and proposed the creation of an EU fund to help “victims of oppression”.