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miercuri, 16 iunie 2021 - 12:53

EU sanctions could target Belarus potash, oil and finance

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Foreign Ministers from Germany, Luxembourg and Lithuania said on Thursday that the European Union sanctions on Belarus will likely hit the country’s potash and oil sectors, as well as financial transactions, according to Reuters.

Tasked by EU leaders with preparing economic sanctions after the forced landing of a passenger plane in Belarus on Sunday and the detention of a dissident journalist, foreign ministers began deliberations in Lisbon on sanctions that go beyond individuals.

“The hijacking of the plane and the detention of the two passengers is completely unacceptable, and we will start discussing the implementation of the sectoral and economic sanctions,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters before the informal meeting in Lisbon.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn said that potash should be central to any new sanctions meant to pressure Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who the opposition and the West say rigged presidential elections last August.

“We know that Belarus produces very much potash, it is one of the biggest suppliers globally, and I think it would hurt Lukashenko very much if we managed something in this area,” said Asselborn.
 

“We aim to target the economic structure and financial transactions in Belarus significantly,” said Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the EU should consider hitting the oil sector with sanctions. The Ministers are aiming for agreement on June 21, when they meet in Luxembourg, and before the next meeting of EU leaders.