The European Union will approve on Monday a series of economic measures against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko in order to sanction the repression and the rerouting of a plane to arrest an opponent.
The objective is to "hit the wallet" the Belarusian authorities.
The European Union will approve Monday a series of economic measures against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko in order to sanction the repression and the rerouting of a plane to arrest an opponent, we learned Friday from diplomatic sources.
The Foreign Ministers of the Twenty-Seven are called upon to give their agreement "in order to strike at the portfolio" the Belarusian authorities during a meeting in Luxembourg, explained a diplomat.
"The aim is to cut off Lukashenko's sources of income"
These sanctions will target potash exports, the tobacco, petroleum and petrochemical sectors, weapons and equipment used to suppress the opposition and dual-use goods, civil and military, he said. . Measures against the financial sector are also under discussion, he added. "These are sanctions that are going to hurt", as demanded by European leaders after the diversion to Minsk of a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius to arrest two of its passengers, the Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protassevich and her Russian friend Sofia Sapega, commented the diplomat.
"The aim is to cut off Lukashenko's sources of income," said another European diplomat.
"The sectors targeted by the EU are dominated by large state-owned enterprises which have very strong links with the regime and with the president," he explained.
"The European Union does not often adopt economic sanctions and that takes time," said another diplomat.
After the green light expected Monday, it will be necessary to finalize a legal text so that they come into force "as quickly as possible".
The unanimity of the Twenty-Seven is required for the adoption of sanctions.
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In Belarus, Lukashenko is still hunting down opponents, without succeeding in stifling the revolt
The EU has already sanctioned 88 regime members including Lukashenko and his son
Austria had reservations about financial sanctions but lifted them on Friday, several diplomats said.
"All states have made compromises and have accepted that the measures may have a possible impact on their interests," commented a European diplomat.
The ministers will also "give their imprimatur" to the addition of 78 names and 7 entities to the list of Belarusian officials sanctioned for the repression of the opposition, of which 7 are involved in the rerouting of the Ryanair flight, according to the same. source.
These sanctions are individual.
They will be banned and their assets in the EU will be seized.
It will also be prohibited to grant European funding to the entities concerned.
The EU has already sanctioned 88 regime members including President Lukashenko and his son.
The EU recognizes that these sanctions will have consequences for the citizens of the former Soviet republic.
The ban on flights in the EU imposed on the national company Belavia and the shutdown of European air links penalized the travel of Belarusians.
The opponent in exile Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa will have a working breakfast with the ministers before their meeting and then she will go to Brussels where she has planned to give a press conference.