Cyprus has blocked EU sanctions against Belarus

Cyprus has vetoed efforts by EU national leaders to impose sanctions on about 40 Belarusian officials, including Alexander Lukashenko.

Cyprus has blocked EU sanctions against Belarus

In response to the election, measures were being considered’ to ensure that Lukashenko was elected for a sixth term, resulting in a strong response from the Minsk government to the protesters.

Cyprus, which has good relations with the Russian government that supports Lukashenko, wanted to join sanctions against Turkey over the dispute over gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a tweet, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics condemned Cyprus's actions, saying, "it sends a wrong signal to Belarus, our societies, and the world."

What did Belarus's opposition say?

The ministers began the discussion after meeting with Lukashenko's main opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who called for a bold response.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the ministers over breakfast, Tikhanovskaya urged Europe to reduce any financial support to the Belarusian government.

"We have done a lot to deal with the situation on our own, only with the strength of the people of Belarus, but now I understand that we need outside help," he said in English.

Tsikhanouskaya said she understood that some ministers were reluctant, but that funding would be "violent only to kill the people of Belarus."

"In that meeting, I said be brave."

What is the situation in Belarus?

In the August election results, Tsikhanouskaya said that Lukashenko - who has been in power for the past 26 years - had almost Gained 80% of the vote. Several people have been killed’ in protests since the vote.

After the election, Tsikhanouskaya was forced’ to flee Belarus for safety.

EU foreign policy chief Giuseppe Borrell said the ministers would also consider what assistance Belk has provided to the people of Belarus. He also said that relations with Minsk may need to be reconsidered’ because "we do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus."

He denied allegations that the European Union was interfering. "It cannot be called interference in internal affairs because democracy and human rights are the core of the EU's identity."


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