The European Union Agreed on imposing Sanctions against Minsk

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The EU Foreign Service has been instructed to compile the list of persons involved in electoral fraud and brutal suppression of protests in Belarus. The European Union intend imposing sanction on Belarusian officials responsible for the brutal suppression of mass protests after presidential elections. This announced German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, on Friday, August 14, after the EU countries foreign ministers’ extraordinary meeting. “Everything that has happened in Belarus recently is unacceptable and forces the EU to give a clear answer,” Mas told reporters. “We intend to subject the EU to punitive measures to specific individuals who are known and who have committed crimes against peaceful demonstrators,” the German politician added. In turn, an unnamed diplomat told Reuters that the agreement was only the first step towards imposing sanctions. According to him, the EU Foreign Service has been instructed to identify individuals who are to be blacklisted and subject to penalties. In addition, according to dpa, the list will include those who are responsible for rigging the presidential elections. According to Reuters, six countries in the EU are in favor of a decisive response to the Belarusian authorities, primarily Austria, Germany and Sweden. At the same time, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states are in favor of mediating negotiations between the Belarusian opposition and Lukashenko. Hungary is skeptical about sanctions imposing. However, according to diplomats, Budapest will agree to support a limited list of persons whose assets will be frozen in the EU and who will be banned from entering the European Union. The diplomats told the agency that the blacklist could be prepared and submitted to a vote by the end of the month. Mass protests For the fifth day, Belarus is facing protests after the presidential elections on August 9, the winner of which, according to the CEC, was the incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko. Speeches of citizens defending their votes and convinced of voting results being falsified are suppressed by riot police and special forces. At the same time, the security forces act with unprecedented cruelty. Since the elections, more than 6,000 protesters have been detained, and two people have died. Lukashenko's main rival in the elections, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, was forced to leave Belarus and go to Lithuania.