Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius hopes that the EU will decide on the issue of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, writes Delfi.lt. Linkevičius claims that “it’s the smallest” that the EU can do in this situation.
“The voice of Europe has been heard, now is the time for tangible, clear actions. And the least we can do is to announce sanctions. I hope that our colleagues in the European Union will not leave the EU in the unknown, will not make it a hostage, because it’s time to act,” Linkevičius said at a meeting of the EU External Relations Council in Brussels on Monday.
He stressed that the EU should not only resort to sanctions but also “support civil society and free media in Belarus. The Lithuanian minister also called for “an independent international investigation into the violence against protesters. Linkevičius added that the current Belarusian authorities “have no moral right” to speak on behalf of people and sign any agreements, and stressed that “Russia should be sent a clear message about non-interference in the internal affairs of Belarus.
On Monday in Brussels, the foreign ministers of the EU states discuss a possible reaction of the EU to the situation in Belarus and will try to approve targeted sanctions against the Belarusian officials. Earlier, Lithuania said it would propose to expand the list of people who fall under sanctions. The ministers will also discuss “assistance to Belarusian civil society” and “review of EU-Belarus relations. Also, at the request of several member states, the Council will discuss the situation in Russia, the EU response to the case of “poisoning” of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, as well as the possibility of sanctions against Russia.