EU Announced Plans for Sanctions against Belarus

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The EU Council at the level of foreign ministers today will approve the fourth package of sanctions against Belarus, and it will be finally adopted at the summit on June 24-25. The head of EU diplomacy Joseph Borrell on Monday, June 21, voiced Brussels' plans on sanctions against Belarus, which they plan to approve at the summit this week, TASS reports. "We will approve the fourth package of sanctions against Belarus today. The new sanctions will affect 86 individuals and companies," he said, adding that the sanctions will be considered at the EU summit on June 24-25 and approved after the meeting of the heads of state. "They will target the Belarusian exports to the European Union. I cannot talk about specific industries yet," Borrell specified. The diplomat noted that the EU sought to avoid economic sanctions which "hurt the entire economy and the well-being of the people," however, "since the government does not change its course of action, we must increase the pressure." In turn, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto explained that the EU will today accept sanctions for "violations of human rights and pressure on the opposition", as well as additional sanctions for forcing Ryanair to land." Haavisto also promised that the EU will maintain contacts with the Belarusian opposition who stay abroad, in particular, the meeting of the EU foreign ministers will begin with a working breakfast with ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. According to media reports, the EU sanctions will affect the potash industry, oil and the banking sector of Belarus.