EU prepares sanctions against Belarus

made the Same two political crises in Europe, the EU was a foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, a special meeting of EU foreign Ministers in the middle of the su

EU prepares sanctions against Belarus

made the Same two political crises in Europe, the EU was a foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, a special meeting of EU foreign Ministers in the middle of the summer break. Although partially in the holiday, together, joined the Minister on Friday afternoon to a video session to discuss the situation in Belarus (white Russia), as well as the dispute between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey for gas drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Borrell is in his home country, Spain, there was, therefore, at the end of the session, not a press conference, but only a written statement. The current President of the Council of the EU, the German foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, makes in the Saarland holiday. Also to Saarlouis a technical connection to the press room of the EU in Brussels was probably not possible.

sanctions will be initiated

Maas said before switching conference, you must increase "the pressure on the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko". The intention of the EU by the threat of sanctions, directed against persons, for the ill-treatment of protestors and the controversial tallying of the elections last Sunday, in white Russia, responsible. The target of the sanctions could also be the closer circles in Minsk. Whether the Belarusian President Lukashenko himself is to be assigned to criminal actions, remained open.

The Polish foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said after the video session, the EU-Commission to get the job, a list develop, for the Minister then formally need to vote before sanctions can come into force. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will leave this list as soon as possible, because she had spoken out prior to the meeting, the Minister clearly for sanctions. Luxembourg foreign Minister Jean Asselborn had even spoken of "state terrorism" in Belarus.

four years Ago, the EU had lifted sanctions against 173 persons in the Belarusian state apparatus, because they had discovered signs of a thaw in Minsk. So far, the President had acted as a kind of mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the capital, Minsk, the decisive Meeting took place, which is why the talks "Minsk process" will be called. In addition, there are also Connections to Belarus in the neighbourhood programme of the EU. From there, flow, even if to a limited extent, funding. Besides, Belarus is working in some areas with NATO. There is a General arms embargo by the EU against Belarus will still apply.

"sign of solidarity"

For the weekend are announced in Belarus for more demonstrations. The Central Europe expert at the German Marshall Fund Joerg Forbrig, told DW that he expected that Lukashenka will not last long in office. The EU sanctions, which would only occur in a few weeks in power, would perhaps be too late to develop and effect.

"The sanctions are an important sign of solidarity with the Belarusian people and that the treatment of the protesters will not be tolerated by their government," said Joerg Forbrig. On the other hand, the sanctions were also for the credibility of the EU, it is important for Belarus to step finally European values with the feet. "The EU should offer more, for example a role of mediator in the conflict and humanitarian aid for the victims of the violence."

The direct neighbours of Belarus in the EU, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, requested a repetition of the obviously fake presidential election under international supervision. The Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, had even suggested a special summit of EU heads of state and heads of government of Belarus. The competent presidency of the Council is not received by the end of Louis Michel yet.

Hungary remains skeptical

sanctions against the Belarusian leadership, the EU had rejected a member of Hungary first. "We are interested in the EU's dialogue-based decisions are made which do not make the future Development of relations between the EU and Belarus is impossible," declared Hungarian foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Thursday. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had visited the Belarusian dictator recently and extensive economic cooperation agreed upon. Sanctions should be decided, would have to agree at the end of Hungary, because there the unanimity is required.

Shortly before the meeting of the EU foreign Minister declared the foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei in an Interview that he is ready to "constructive and objective" discussions over the course of the controversial presidential election, and since the days of the ongoing protests. However, this offer was not enough. The EU is now on sanctions course. The Belarusian President Lukashenko made it again, without evidence, of "foreign forces" from the Netherlands, Poland and the Ukraine for the protests against him.

the EU wants to discuss the escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean,

was to avoid The second crisis is the topic without the formal sanction threats. Greece and Cyprus supported by the EU in the dispute to Gasbohrrechte in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is seeking the EU considers illegally in the Greek and Cypriot territorial waters for Gas, but the penalties should there not be, therefore, for the time being. Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had assured unlock his European colleagues shortly before their Video, Ankara did not want an escalation of the conflict. However, according to Cavusoglu, it must also behave in Greece "reasonable". The Greek foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stressed that his country hope that there would be no conflict, if "everyone remains in their senses and in international law."

German Chancellor Merkel gives

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone with the Greek Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in order to smooth the waves. She called both for dialogue and de-escalation.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, is a Turkish exploration ship, accompanied by the Turkish Navy. Erdogan announced that the explorations would be to 23. August continued. France had begun naval exercises with the Greek Navy off Crete, to Turkey intimidate. The Turkish foreign Minister Cavusoglu accused France, it's behaving like a "Gangster".

The three parties to the conflict to Greece, Turkey and France are NATO allies. Greece and Turkey are arguing for decades that territorial questions. Turkey still holds the Northern part of the EU-member Cyprus occupied.

author: Bernd Riegert

*The post "EU prepares sanctions against Belarus" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 14 August 2020, 19:26

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