EU leaders impose sanctions on Belarus

On October 1, EU imposed sanctions on 40 senior officials in Belarus who are accused of falsifying Presidential election results and being behind the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in the aftermath of the August 9 election.

Regarding Belarus, the European Council conclusions of the October 1 meeting read as follows: “The European Council condemns the unacceptable violence by Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters, as well as intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions following the presidential elections, the results of which it does not recognise. The European Council fully supports the democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their President through new free and fair elections, without external interference.

The European Council calls on the Belarusian authorities to end violence and repression, release all detainees and political prisoners, respect media freedom and civil society, and start an inclusive national dialogue. It agrees that restrictive measures should be imposed and calls on the Council to adopt the decision without delay.

The European Council also encourages the European Commission to prepare a comprehensive plan of economic support for democratic Belarus”.

However, Lukashenko has not been included in the sanctions list.  “We have decided today to implement the sanctions,” European Council President Charles Michel remarked. “It’s very important to do what we decided a few weeks ago,” and to send a signal that “we are credible.” 

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