European Union agrees Belarus sanctions
Ukraine is in solidarity with the EU’s position on Belarus&# 160;
EU Foreign Ministers met with Svetlana&# 160; Tikhanovskaya&# 160; and expressed support to her and the Belarusian people
KYIV – EU foreign ministers failed to agree on targeted sanctions against Belarus.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell said this on September 21 during a press conference following the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the European Union in Brussels, according to the National News Agency “Ukrinform”.
“The ministers discussed the issue of sanctions, and although the majority was convinced of their necessity, it was impossible to adopt them today, because a unanimous decision was not reached. This issue will be addressed at the level of heads of state and government during the European Council at the end of this week, they will provide political guidance, ”said Josep Borrell.
He admitted that the decision on sanctions against Belarus was not taken, as one country did not support the consensus.
During an informal breakfast with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a member of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition, members of the EU Foreign Affairs Council expressed support for her supporters.
“I am glad that we were able to meet with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya hours earlier in front of the Council, the participants had the opportunity to meet with her, and she presented a report on the events in Belarus,” said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
According to him, the European Union will continue “to support a comprehensive national dialogue and the right of the Belarusian people to free and fair elections.” “And this cannot be considered as interference in internal affairs,” regional media quoted Borrell as saying..
“We are impressed with the courage of the Belarusian people, especially the Belarusian woman, who demonstrates the ability for real leadership,” Borrell stressed..
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto also expressed support for Tikhanovskaya. “In the morning we had a wonderful meeting with the leader of the opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, earlier I met with her in Vilnius. It is important – we are looking for ways to support peaceful demonstrations and opposition, as well as free and fair elections in the future in Belarus, ”said Haavisto. Foreign ministers of Germany and Austria Heiko Maas and Alexander Schallenberg, as well as Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu also expressed support for the Belarusian opposition..
Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada on the situation in Belarus
In Ukraine, a resolution on the situation in the Republic of Belarus was prepared for publication in the official press of the Verkhovna Rada and for entry into force, which was adopted by the parliament on September 15.
According to the website of the Verkhovna Rada, Parliament Speaker Dmitry Razumkov signed a resolution on September 21.
“The presidential elections in Belarus were held with significant violations, numerous refusals to register candidates, non-transparent counting of votes. […] The elections were held in the absence of competition between candidates, free media, as well as authoritative observers from international organizations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe … […] All this gives grounds to believe that the officially announced results of the presidential elections in Belarus do not reflect the real expression of the will of the Belarusian citizens, ”the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada says..
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also condemned the use of excessive force and brutality by the law enforcement agencies of Belarus. “One of the options could be new free and democratic elections with the participation of independent international observers from leading European institutions,” the document says..
Presidential elections in Belarus were held on August 9. Opponents of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s government are challenging the announced results of the vote count, demanding re-elections, and for the second month now they have been holding massive peaceful protests and strikes. Law enforcement agencies harshly suppress popular protests, disperses street processions, the participants of which use the historical national symbols of Belarus.
The situation in Belarus and the position of the West
Director of the Institute of World Politics Evgeny Magda believes that the West takes an ambiguous position towards Belarus.
“The position of the European Union is decisive, and this is logical, its formation is influenced by several centers of influence – Belarus’s neighbors Poland and Lithuania, which take an active position and try to be decision drivers. On the other hand, there are the countries of “old Europe”, which have neither neighborhood nor large-scale economic relations with Belarus, “Yevgeny Magda tells the correspondent of the Russian service of” Voice of America “.
He claims that the European Union has to act in such a way that Alexander Lukashenko does not finally “turn” to Russia..
“And in this matter, the European Union lacks an internal core – Poland and Lithuania cannot yet form a position that would be pan-European. On the other hand, it is difficult for them to strike at the Lukashenka regime without striking at ordinary Belarusians, in a country where the main sectors of the economy are in the hands of the state, ”emphasizes Yevhen Magda.
Yevhen Magda believes that the influence of the West on the situation in Belarus can be expanded in terms of “soft power”.
“Apart from the existing Belsat TV, it is necessary to use other opportunities, while not forgetting that the Belarusian society is loyal to Russia. It should also be remembered that during his tenure in power Lukashenka got used to sanctions against him, and he will not take them seriously, ”Yevhen Magda believes..
Interests of the Russian Federation and the EU in the Belarusian transit of power
Chairman of the Board of the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation Maxim Khilko notes that the demands of Alexander Lukashenko are actually put forward not by the leaders of the opposition, but by the majority of the population of Belarus.
“And Lukashenka does not enter into dialogue because Russia is holding him back, which would like Lukashenka to conduct dialogue through Moscow and on the terms that Moscow sees. Therefore, Belarus ignores the opinion of the world community, the European Union, just as Russia does, ”Maksim Khilko says to the correspondent of the Russian service“ Voice of America ”.
“Transit of power” in Belarus, according to him, is possible, but the Kremlin is interested not in the development of democratic ones inside the country, but in strengthening the integration processes with Russia..
“Russia would like Lukashenko to sign the integration agreements necessary for Russia, and after that he would conduct a transition of power – changes in the Constitution towards a parliamentary form of government so that Russia would receive a pro-Russian majority in the Belarusian parliament, or, if a president is elected, that it would be elected pro-Russian president “, – says Maxim Khilko.
He believes that the development of the situation in Belarus also depends on political protests in Russia. “We see that popular protests are brewing in Russia, and today the big question is how strong the power in Russia and Putin’s power will remain,” emphasizes Maxim Khilko.