Updated at 18:53,10-09-2021

EU ready to add Lukašenka to its sanctions list

Tanya Korovenkova, БелаПАН

EU ready to add Lukašenka to its sanctions list
Minsk, 12 October. The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on October 12 adopted conclusions on the EU's response to the developments in Belarus, expressing readiness to take further restrictive measures against entities and high-ranking officials, including Aliaksandr Lukašenka.
In its conclusions, the Council reiterated that Belarus’ August 4-9 presidential election was neither free nor fair, and that Mr. Lukašenka “lacks any democratic legitimacy.”

The Council also reiterated its full support for Belarus’s sovereignty and independence and underlined the “democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their president through new, free and fair elections, without external interference.”

The Council strongly condemned the violence employed by the Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters, and calls for the release of all arbitrarily detained persons, including political prisoners.

“The EU will scale down bilateral cooperation with the Belarusian authorities at central level, increase its support for the Belarusian people and civil society, and recalibrate its bilateral financial assistance accordingly. In line with that, the EU has immediately made available additional financial resources for victims of violence, civil society organizations and independent media,” the EU Council says in a press release.

“The conclusions highlight that the EU is ready to substantially step up its political engagement, sectoral cooperation, and financial assistance to Belarus provided that its authorities respect the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, by stopping repression and abuses, promoting a serious, credible and inclusive political process resulting in free and fair elections under the OSCE/ODIHR's observation, and providing guarantees for respect for human rights,” the press release says.

“Finally, the EU calls on the Belarusian authorities to engage in an inclusive national dialogue and stands ready to support a peaceful democratic transition with a variety of instruments, including a comprehensive plan of economic support for a democratic Belarus,” the press release says.