EU to Introduce Targeted Sanctions against Belarusian Leaders

The European Union will impose targeted sanctions against those figures in Belarus who are responsible either for falsifying the presidential election or for repressing the people after the vote.

“I can not name the exact number – somewhere between 15 and 20 people,” a senior EU source told reporters on Tuesday, talking about the agenda of the informal Gymnich meeting of foreign ministers of the Union countries, which will be held in Berlin on August 27-28.

Gymnich is an informal meeting, and therefore no decisions, including on sanctions, will be taken at it. The ministers will voice their political support for both the principles and the nature of the sanctions, and perhaps provide some names. This will ensure that formal written decisions are taken quickly afterwards. The list of sanctions will be open and will be supplemented along the way.

The sanctions list is drawn up and will be updated based on information received mainly from the EU member states and the EU Delegation in Minsk, he said.

The EU usually imposes sanctions to « change the behavior of international actors ». This is a political rationale, and only the people of their country can punish those responsible.

“Our sanctions are not punitive measures,” the official said. “We are not judges, police, or administrative bodies. We want to change the political behavior of (leaders). There is a lot of debate as to the extent to which the sanctions have historically proven their effectiveness. We believe they are useful in international politics. « 

The EU considers national dialogue to be the only way out of the Belarusian crisis.


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