EU leaders discuss sanctions against Belarus

NEWS 21.09.2020 20:00
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Source: Sergei GAPON / AFP

Leaders of EU member-countries will discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions against the regime in Belarus at a summit in Brussels this week after EU foreign ministers failed to reach a consensus on the matter.

The EU has prepared sanctions for some 40 people from Belarus whom it considers responsible for repression against Belarussian citizens but a final decision requires the consent of all member-countries.

Cyprus is making its consent conditional on measures against Turkey to make it stop exploring for oil and gas in its territorial waters.

Before their formal meeting on Monday, EU foreign ministers had a working lunch with Belarussian opposition leader Svetlana Tihanovska.

Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said that EU ministers had expressed solidarity with Belarussian citizens.

“We have considered introducing sanctions against a certain number of people, and in a few days the European Council will also consider the possible introduction of sanctions against Turkey. There is political will to do the same regarding Belarus, but some time is needed,” Grlic Radman said after the meeting.

“We will see what the officials’ position will be on Turkey, and then we will see in what direction sanctions for Belarus will go,” he added.

The EU has shown solidarity with its members Greece and Cyprus, which are calling for imposing sanctions on Turkey due to its activities in oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“It is necessary to talk. Turkey is an important geopolitical actor, a member of NATO, a candidate for EU membership, it is caring for four million migrants who could head towards Europe. It is important to give dialogue a chance, it is in the interest of us all to defuse tension, and for calm and agreement to exist, so no unilateral act can be welcomed,” said the minister.