Belarus announces sanctions list in retaliation against EU

WION Web Team
Minsk, Belarus Published: Oct 02, 2020, 02:58 PM(IST)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (file photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The European Union leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock earlier on Friday and imposed sanctions on Belarus after hours of summit talks.

Belarus has, in retaliation against sanctions imposed by the EU, announced a list of sanctions it intends to press against the union.

The country's foreign ministry said on Friday it had compiled a list of people barred from entering Belarus, adding it would not be made public.

The European Union (EU) leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock earlier on Friday and imposed sanctions on Belarus after hours of summit talks.

They arrived on a decision after Cyprus dropped its opposition over demands that the bloc also punish Turkey for tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

EU chief Charles Michel, however, confirmed that Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko was himself not among the figures targetted on a new sanctions list.

Also read | EU imposes sanctions on Belarus; Lukashenko not on the list

"No Lukashenko is not on the current list, but of course we will follow the situation, we will follow developments," the president of the European Council said after meeting EU leaders.

The deal on sanctions against about 40 officials accused of rigging August's presidential election in Belarus means the EU can make good on a promise to support pro-democracy protesters in Minsk and regain some credibility after weeks of delays.

Cyprus, one of the EU's smallest countries, had blocked the action against Belarus for a month, insisting that sanctions also be imposed on its neighbour Turkey for oil and gas exploration along the coast of the Mediterranean island.

Germany pushed back against a tough stand on Turkey, fearing it would disrupt efforts to cool tensions with EU member Greece.

Turkey, both a candidate to join the EU and a member of NATO, has slid towards authoritarianism under President Tayyip Erdogan but remains a strategically located partner that the EU cannot ignore.

(with inputs from agencies)

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