EU prepares new Belarus sanctions amid call for weekend protests
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry: we are ready to support the imposed European sanctions against Belarus
Svetlana, leader of the Belarusian protests&# 160; Tikhanovskaya&# 160; gave Lukashenka’s regime 13 days to fulfill the conditions of the People’s ultimatum&# 160;
KIEV – Ukraine will join the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Belarus. This was announced on October 13 during an online briefing by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba.
“Our position on Belarus has been consistent and clear from the first day of the beginning of this crisis: we have joined the relevant statements of the European Union. As for the sanctions that have already been imposed, we will join them. As for any new sanctions, we will act according to an agreed algorithm, that is, first the EU adopts the sanctions, and then we consider the issue of joining them, ”Dmitry Kuleba said on the air on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
He noted that “the issue of Belarus is an example of how the convergence of external policies of the EU and Ukraine envisaged by the Association Agreement works, when we really act as a united front on the most painful issues”.
During an official visit to Slovakia on September 24, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine supports the position of the partner countries and the European Union regarding events in Belarus and calls on the Belarusian authorities to find a dialogue with the people.
“If the authorities do not find an opportunity for dialogue with their relatives, this power will not exist. And here Ukraine will always support our partners, and here we are like-minded people with all European countries, ”said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to his press service..
At a press conference after a meeting in Bratislava with President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Czaputova, he noted that Ukraine had repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to dialogue with the people..
European Union: power in Belarus has lost its legitimacy
Repressions, brutal suppression of peaceful protests led to the loss of legitimacy and respect of the Belarusian population and the international community by the Belarusian authorities.
This was stated by the EU official representative for foreign affairs and security policy Peter Stano at a briefing on October 13 in Brussels, according to the National News Agency “Ukrinform”.
“The perception of the behavior of the Belarusian authorities is already very bad due to what the Lukashenka regime is doing against its own population. If these threats are carried out, it will only reinforce the very bad impression that has already formed in the international community. The authorities [of Belarus] and the president – they have already lost their legitimacy, they have fallen low, first of all in the eyes of their own citizens, ”Stano said.
People’s ultimatum: the regime has 13 days
As reported by regional media on Tuesday, October 13, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya presented the conditions of the People’s ultimatum to the Lukashenka regime.
“Two months of political crisis, violence and lawlessness have passed – and we’ve had enough. On October 25, we announce the People’s Ultimatum. The regime has 13 days to fulfill three mandatory requirements: 1. Lukashenka must announce his resignation. 2. Street violence must stop completely. 3. All political prisoners must be released, ”says Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
After October 25, from October 26, in accordance with the requirements of the People’s Ultimatum, “a national strike of all enterprises will begin, all roads will be blocked, and sales in state stores will collapse.”.
“You have 13 days to fulfill three conditions. We have 13 days to prepare, and all this time Belarusians will continue their peaceful and persistent protest, ”Svetlana Tikhanovskaya stressed..
Ukraine and the European Union – sanctions against the regime
Co-chairman of the Razam solidarity movement (Together) Alena Tolstaya notes that Belarusians are waiting for Ukrainian sanctions against the Lukashenka regime.
“The Belarusian people need these measures, we need changes in the country, they will happen anyway. And Ukraine, as a country waging a war against Russia, knows what the death of citizens in the struggle for sovereignty is. Ukraine made the right move, wishing to join the European sanctions, ”Alena Tolstaya tells the Voice of America Russian Service.
She notes that the Ukrainian sanctions against Lukashenka may be uncomfortable for the official Kiev, but this is an important political, European integration move..
“He will give Ukraine a lot: political bonuses. And the power in Belarus that will come after Lukashenka will make up for everything that Ukraine will endure today. The consequences will be large and negative if Ukraine remains on the sidelines of European sanctions and does not support the struggle of the Belarusian popular uprising, ”Alena Tolstaya believes..
The ultimatum of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, according to her, can be called a “countdown” for more active actions of ordinary citizens of the republic.
“This statement by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya enables Lukashenka to leave. But we understand that Lukashenka is making all his steps under pressure from the Kremlin. And these negotiations in jail with the opposition, and imitation of work on a new constitution – all these are the results of Lukashenka’s meeting with Putin in Sochi, ”notes Alena Tolstaya.
She recalls that the Lukashenka regime has stepped up the fight against the citizens of the republic: last weekend, about 700 people were arrested and statements were made about the possibility of the use of weapons by the security forces against peaceful protests.
“The patience of Belarusians is coming to an end. You can’t take that much. In order for us to achieve freedom, we need the active support of the West and Ukraine. Our main methods are strikes and protests, ”emphasizes Alena Tolstaya.
A balanced approach
Political scientist Olesya Yakhno-BelkovskaI say that the reaction of the Ukrainian authorities regarding the situation in Belarus was “phased”.
“Ukraine has been formulating its official position for a very long time. We discussed the violation of human rights, violence against citizens and Ukraine abstained for a very long time – to recognize or not to recognize the elections in Belarus. But this wording was gradually formed along with those unfriendly statements that sounded from Belarus, “Olesya Yakhno-Belkovskaya tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
She notes that Ukraine will be cautious about joining the sanctions, however, the Belarusian authorities continue to form a negative image of official Kiev..
“Information policy with a local component has moved from Belarus to Russia, Lukashenka invited Russian journalists instead of those dismissed from state editorial offices, and this means that Belarus will be even more dependent on Russia in its politics. At some stage, Kiev will have no other option but to join the European sanctions, ”Olesya Yakhno-Belkovskaya emphasizes..
History of protests
After the end of the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, 2020, citizens of the republic protested on the streets of cities, hold strikes at enterprises, demanding a revision of the election results, the removal of Alexander Lukashenko from power. The Belarusian authorities use excessive methods of suppressing protesters, resorting to arrests of those who disagree with the position of Alexander Lukashenko.
The inauguration ceremony of Alyaksandr Lukashenka took place in Minsk on 23 September. The press called it “secret” or “secret”. The official event was not announced in advance, took place without a TV broadcast and without an invitation from international delegations..
On October 12, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions against President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and other high-ranking officials in connection with the August 9 elections, which, according to the West, were rigged.
“This is a response to the development of the situation in Belarus,” said the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, who chaired the ministerial meeting in Luxembourg..
“There have been no signals from the Belarusian authorities to participate in any dialogue,” he said, referring to Lukashenka’s “complete lack of desire” to consider the possibility of negotiations on holding free and fair presidential elections..
The preparation of a new series of sanctions will likely take several days, but diplomats said measures such as an entry ban and an asset freeze no longer depend on the situation in Belarus, which, according to ministers, is significantly deteriorating..