Wednesday, May 29

European Sanctions on Belarus Finally Come into Effect

European sanctions against individuals in and around the regime of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko are in effect six weeks after the EU announced it would impose punitive measures following the country’s ‘stolen’ elections in early August.

 

It concerns 44 persons, according to the list in the Official Journal of the European Union. President Aleksandr Lukashenko is not on it.

The sanctions consist of the freezing of European assets, travel and trade bans.

Because Cyprus suddenly used its veto also to demand EU sanctions against Turkey for illegal gas drilling near the island, the issue remained on the shelf. But after hours of negotiation, the country was still tackling the night from Thursday to Friday.

EU leaders also agreed to the proposal of Belarusian neighbours, notably Poland, to provide economic support for the Belarusian population. The 27 have “encouraged” the European Commission to prepare such a support plan.

EU President Charles Michel said after a two-day summit in Brussels that the EU is “closely following the situation”.

The EU demands free and fair elections in Belarus. It cannot be ruled out that if Lukashenko continues to refuse to enter into dialogue with the opposition, sanctions against him will be reconsidered.

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