2021.12.01 14:12

New Belarus sanction package not sufficient, Lithuanian defence minister says

BNS2021.12.01 14:12

The European Union's new sanction package for Belarus is not sufficient, Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said on Wednesday, calling for even harsher measures.

“I would say it’s not sufficient,” he told reporters ahead of the cabinet's sitting on Wednesday.

The EU is set to announce its fifth sanctions package for Belarus on Thursday, to be introduced in response to Minsk fueling a migration crisis the bloc's eastern borders.

According to media reports, the package will name 17 Belarusian officials, including the country's border chief Anatoly Lapo and other border officials and judges.

The sanctions will also hit 11 organisations, including the state-owned airline Belavia, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said earlier, adding that some EU countries were trying to have Belavia removed from the sanction list.

Sanctions on Belarus are a joint European decision, not just that of Lithuania, Anušauskas commented.

“There are always reservations and consensuses,” the minister said.

Anušauskas also called for a review of the existing sanctions for Belarus to make them work. As an example, he mentioned measures imposed on Belaruskali, one of the biggest potash producers in the world. According to the minister, the current sanctions do not work, because they contain an exemption for existing long-term contracts.

“I believe they should be comprehensive, if we want the sanctions to be effective,” Anušauskas said.

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