2020.09.30 09:50

Belarus imposes sanctions on Baltic officials

BNS, LRT.lt2020.09.30 09:50

On Tuesday, an official from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said the country has imposed sanctions on 100 people in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

“We are also imposing symmetrical restrictive measures against each of these countries,” said Anatoly Glaz, spokesman at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

According to the country’s state news agency BelTa, 100 officials from each of the three Baltic countries are now forbidden to enter Belarus.

Last Friday, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania expanded their sanctions and blacklisted over 100 Belarusian officials for vote-rigging and violence against protesters. They are barred from entering the Baltic states.

Read more: Baltic states expand sanctions against Belarusian regime

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said the retaliatory sanctions could be expected as "the regime's whole rhetoric was militant and aggressive from the very beginning".

"We introduced sanctions only after it became clear that normal mediation was becoming impossible," Nausėda told reporters on Tuesday. "It won’t frighten us and also won't prevent the European Union from making those decisions that are ripe."

If the EU fails to impose sanctions for Belarus, "credibility in the European Union, its image and trust in it as a power capable of resolving geopolitical problems will be significantly undermined".

Baltic officials have previously said the EU sanctions would be more effective than the national ones, as they would also include financial measures.

In August, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said that the sanctioned Belarusian 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”.

On Tuesday, Nausėda discussed the issue of sanctions for Belarus with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. The French leader expressed hope the EU would soon impose sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime.

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