On Friday, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia expanded sanctions against Belrusian officials responsible for vote-rigging and violence against peaceful protesters.
The Baltic countries added 98 officials, including judges and law-enforcement officers, to their blacklist, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry confirmed to BNS.
The Baltic states first imposed sanctions on 30 Belarusian officials, including Alexander Lukashenko, on August 31. The blacklist prevents the sanctioned officials from travelling to the Baltic states.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius previously said that the sanctioned officials have travelled across the border, adding that “at least these people won’t be able to come here for shopping at Akropolis [mall] after beating people at home”.
The list was expanded following a delay in imposing European Union-wide sanctions, as well as the secret inauguration of Lukashenko, Linkevičius told BNS on Firday.
So far, the EU has failed to impose sanctions against the Belarusian regime amid a diplomatic row with Cyprus, which refuses to approve the measures unless the bloc takes tougher action on Turkey over a dispute in the Mediterranean.
Lithuanian officials previously said EU sanctions would be more effective, as they would also include financial and other measures.
"We continue to work on a European solution. The absolute majority of [my] colleagues understand that it is necessary, but time is running out,” said Linkevičius. “So, after consulting with the Latvians and the Estonians, we decided to expand the national lists by a hundred people.”
The Baltic states’ blacklist now includes a total of 128 Belarusian officials, including Lukashenko.
The United States and the United Kingdom are also considering sanctions against the Belarusian regime.