The European Parliament wants member states to impose sanctions against Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
In a resolution passed by an overwhelming majority in Brussels, the parliament called for immediate sanctions against those responsible for the electoral fraud in the country in early August and the violent response of the authorities to subsequent protests, including Lukashenko.
Member States pledged to draw up a sanction list against “high political level” allies of the regime in Belarus at the end of August without revealing whether Lukashenko would be there.
EU foreign chief Josep Borrell then said after a meeting of the foreign ministers in Berlin that he was speeding up on the sanctions list, but it is still not there.
According to insiders, Cyprus is blocking this because the country wants the EU also to impose sanctions against Turkey for illegal drilling. Unanimity is needed for EU sanctions.
Borrell said in the EU parliament on Tuesday that those sanctions must be in place by next week’s meeting of EU leaders “if the EU is to remain credible.”
Parliament says it will no longer recognize Lukashenko as president after his term expires on 5 November and calls for early free and fair elections.
Lukashenko claims to have been reelected by 80 percent of the voters. European politicians also condemn the mass arrests of opposition and strike leaders and journalists in the country.