A group of European Union states with diplomatic representatives in Belarus and a delegation of the bloc in Minsk will recommend several ways to develop a sanctions policy against Belarus.
The document “Report of the heads of EU missions: an overview of the EU restrictive measures against Belarus in February 2021” should be discussed in Brussels in the coming weeks. However, there is no guarantee that all provisions will necessarily agree.
The document defines four different paths that Brussels can take with regard to Belarus: “wait and see”, “pragmatic equivalent”, “decisive continuation of deterioration of relations” and “almost complete freeze of relations”.
The first option assumes continuation of the current approach to the Belarusian issue with the gradual introduction of sanctions. So, after actions against the protesters in the framework of three separate sanctions rounds at the end of 2020, the EU has already imposed visa bans and frozen the assets of seven companies and 88 people, including, in fact, Lukashenko himself and his son.
The second path offers “silent diplomacy, high-level missions to Minsk / invitation to neutral territory, support for the proposal for mediation, consent to a conversation with the regime and entry into a kind of dialogue in the OSCE, entry into high-level negotiations with Russia and the United States to increase external pressure, proposal of the EU Advisory Mission / EU Special Representative for Belarus”.
The third option is about strengthening sanctions against individuals and legal entities, as well as reducing the level of diplomatic relations and “supporting violations of criminal and other cases under national legislation in the EU member states against perpetrators of torture and inhuman treatment”.
The strictest is the fourth way, namely, an almost complete freeze of relations, that is, the rupture of diplomatic relations, the withdrawal of ambassadors of the EU member states, a tough sanctions regime against industrial sectors, a ban on the sale of Eurobonds. A moratorium on the participation of Belarus in the structures of the “Eastern Partnership” and official recognition of the government in emigration are also possible.Polish media: US gathers anti-Russian alliance from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova