Poland and other EU neighbors of Belarus may impose their national sanctions on individual Belarusian officials if the European Union does not do so, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told reporters in Budapest.
“If it does not come to the introduction of such sanctions – we are talking about sanctions aimed at individual officials of the Belarusian state – then the countries of our region are considering – I’m talking about Belarus’ EU neighbors – the introduction of national sanctions,” the RAR agency quoted Rau as saying.
At the same time, the Polish minister expressed hope that EU sanctions will be introduced. He recalled that the EU foreign ministers reached a consensus at the end of August that the EU would seek to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for the falsification of the presidential elections in Belarus or for the ill-treatment of demonstrators after the elections.
Previously, Cyprus opposed the imposition of EU sanctions on Belarus, which requires the simultaneous imposition of restrictions against Turkey.
Earlier, the EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels reaffirmed the Union’s position of non-recognition of the results of the presidential elections in Belarus and its intention to impose sanctions against Belarusian citizens involved, in the opinion of the EU, in the falsification of voting results and violence against protesters. Meanwhile, the Belarusian extra sanctions have not yet been agreed due to the position of Cyprus, which blocks the decision, insisting on the parallel introduction of similar measures in Turkey for exploration in the Cyprus economic zone of the Mediterranean Sea.
Mass opposition protests began across Belarus on August 9, after the presidential election, which was won by Alexander Lukashenko – according to the CEC, he received 80.1% of the vote. During the first days of the protests, the law enforcement agencies suppressed the protesters who disagreed with the results, using tear gas, light-noise grenades, and rubber bullets. According to official data, over 6.7 thousand people were detained during the first days. As the Interior Ministry reported then, hundreds of people were injured in the riots, including over 130 law enforcement officers. The protests have been going on for a month now. In addition, events are held by supporters of Lukashenko. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the state agency Belta reported that Lukashenko’s inauguration took place and he took office.