Poland threatened to impose sanctions against Belarus bypassing the EU

Poland and other EU neighbors of Belarus may impose their national sanctions on certain Belarusian officials if the European Union does not, 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 am talking about Belarus’ neighbors that are members of the EU) the introduction of national sanctions”, – Rau was quoted by the reporters.

At the same time, the Polish minister expressed hope that the EU sanctions would be introduced. He recalled that EU foreign ministers reached a consensus at the end of August that the EU would seek to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials who are responsible for rigging the presidential elections in Belarus or for the brutal treatment of demonstrators after the elections.

Earlier, Cyprus opposed the introduction of EU sanctions against Belarus, which requires the simultaneous introduction of restrictions against Turkey.

Previously, following a meeting in Brussels, the EU foreign ministers reaffirmed the union’s position on non-recognition of the results of the presidential elections in Belarus and the intention to impose sanctions on Belarusian citizens who, according to the EU, are involved in falsifying the voting results and violence against protestors.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian additional sanctions have not yet been agreed upon due to the position of Cyprus, which is blocking the decision, insisting on the parallel introduction of similar measures against Turkey for conducting exploration work in the Cypriot economic zone of the Mediterranean Sea.

Massive opposition protests began across Belarus on August 9, after the presidential elections, which Alexander Lukashenko won – according to the CEC, he gained 80.1% of the vote. In the early days, the actions were suppressed by the security forces, and against the protesters who did not agree with the results, they used tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets. According to official data, over 6.7 thousand people were detained in the first days. As the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic reported at the time, hundreds of people were injured during the riots, among them over 130 law enforcement officers. The protests have been going on for a month. In addition, events of Lukashenko’s supporters are held. Meanwhile, the state agency Belta announced on Wednesday that Lukashenka was inaugurated and took office.

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