Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis welcomes the European Union’s decision to extend sanctions against Belarus
In response to the brutality of the Belarusian authorities and in support of the democratic rights of the Belarusian people, the EU on 17 December decided to impose the third round of sanctions over the ongoing repression.
“We welcome the Council of the European Union's decision to extend sanctions targeting high-level officials responsible for the ongoing repression and violence against thousands of Belarusians. It is important that the list includes companies supporting the regime, among others. This sends a strong signal of support for Belarusian civil society," said Landsbergis.
The third round of sanctions is qualitatively different. The sanctions also target economic actors, prominent businessmen and companies benefiting from and/or supporting the political leadership of Alexander Lukashenko, including 2 entrepreneurs and 7 entities. A total of 88 individuals and 7 entities are now designated under the sanctions regime on Belarus.
The purpose of the sanctions is to put pressure on the Belarusian regime to prevent further violence and repression, to release all political prisoners and other unjustly detained people, and to initiate a genuine and inclusive national dialogue with broader society.
In the context of the crackdown by Belarusian authorities, a first round of sanctions was imposed by the Council against 40 individuals on 1 October and a second set of sanctions targeting Alexander Lukashenko and 14 other officials was imposed on 6 November.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains the position that if the situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, Lukashenko's illegal regime pursues its policy of repression and keeps using brutal force against peaceful protesters, both national and EU imposed restrictive measures (sanctions) against Belarus will be extended and expanded.
Lithuania, together with the other Baltic states, has announced national sanctions banning entry to 156 individuals responsible for electoral fraud, human rights violations, and the repression against Belarusian civil society and democratic opposition.