The european Union passes from words to actions. It will launch on Friday the process of sanctions to stop the repression in Belarus following the disputed re-election of president Alexander Lukashenko and to show solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in the face of the Turkey. The foreign ministers will meet by videoconference to 15 hours (13 hours GMT) in a tense context, with the situation being considered "very serious" by the head of european diplomacy Josep Borrell.
France has deployed military assets in Cyprus and Greece to address a warning to Ankara and many european leaders want to punish the crackdown by the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko against his opponents. The president of the european Commission Ursula von der Leyen has called for Friday's punishment for the perpetrators of violations of human rights.
Germany in favour of sanctions against Belarus
" It is useless to reiterate our serious concern. There need to be consequences, " had previously pleaded the head of the diplomacy of Lithuanian Linas Linkevicius. "I'll propose to apply individual sanctions to the officials and politicians directly responsible for the excessive use of force against peaceful protestors, and also of the falsification of the elections ", declared the minister to the Agency France-Presse.
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Lithuania has welcomed the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, forced into exile after challenging the victory of Alexander Lukashenko. She called Friday for "peaceful protests" throughout the country during the weekend. "I ask all mayors to be the organizers of the August 15 and 16 of peaceful gatherings of mass in each city" in belarus, she said in a video posted online. Minsk said on Friday ready for a "constructive dialogue" with the stranger, and began to release hundreds of people detained in Minsk since Monday. The testimonies denounce the extreme brutality of the police and special forces.
The German government said Friday in favour of european Union sanctions against Belarus in the face of repression after the disputed re-election of president Alexander Lukashenko. "From the point of view of the government, it will also be a question of sanctions" at a meeting of ministers of foreign Affairs of the EU-scheduled in the day in Brussels, said the spokesman of the government, adding that this meeting is " an important step to formulate a common response to european events in Belarus ".
"This will be more complex with Turkey"
The extraordinary meeting of ministers of foreign Affairs " is clearly in the direction of the preparation of sanctions against the Lukashenko regime, told Agence France-Presse a eu diplomat. This will be the way to force Minsk to open up a dialogue on the mediation plan in the three points proposed by the Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, to neighboring Belarus.
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the leaders of The three countries are ready to mediate to resolve the political crisis in Belarus, explained the president of Lithuanian Gitanas Nauseda. The release of the prisoners is one of the conditions of this mediation. "This will be more complex with Turkey," said the eu diplomat. "With Ankara, it must go through a phase of adrenaline to force Erdogan to return to the dialogue ", he lamented.
The EU expressed its "full solidarity" with Greece
The Turkish president was asked Thursday to meet with Angela Merkel and with the european Council president, Charles Michel. The chancellor had helped to ease tensions in July, but she had warned Recep Tayyip Erdogan that it would be difficult to avoid the adoption of economic sanctions from the EU if Turkey continues its illegal wells in the cypriot waters and off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, near the Turkish coast, told Agence France-Presse, a european manager.
Charles Michel advised him Thursday to "avoid provocations" and confirmed the "total solidarity" within the EU with Greece, was it indicated by european sources. The EU ministers have given the mandate to Josep Borrell in July to prepare " adequate measures in order to respond to the challenges posed by Turkey ". The range of measures that includes economic sanctions, has been provided by european sources. The Spaniard has committed to submit different options to ministers at their informal meeting on 27 and 28 August in Berlin.
For its part, the German government has " taken note of ", Friday, manoeuvres with the French in Greece, and has called Paris, Athens and Ankara to avoid "escalation" in the conflict in the eastern Mediterranean around the exploration of hydrocarbons. Berlin "takes note" of the strengthening of the military presence of French in the Mediterranean, said the government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, adding that " what is important, it is the de-escalation (...), everything must be done to avoid a new escalation ", he added when Angela Merkel spoke Thursday with the Greek Prime minister and the Turkish president, in a mediation attempt.
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No decision expected Friday
The Friday meeting could last several hours. No decision is expected, because the meeting is virtual, but the ministers must give a green light for working groups to begin the preparation of "conclusions" adopted by written procedure, has been provided by european sources. "This may speed up the process for the adoption of concrete actions ", a-t-it explained the same source.
Belarus is still under the blow of an embargo on sales of arms and equipment that could be used for repression. Four persons are still prohibited to stay in the EU and their assets have been frozen. The proposed sanctions for Belarus and Turkey will be submitted to ministers at their Berlin meeting. The unanimity of the 27 is required for their adoption.