Cyprus blocks EU sanctions on Belarus

EU’s Foreign Ministers on Monday failed to agree on sanctions on Belarus, after Cyprus blocked the plan, over the bloc’s stance against Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus refuses to sign the legal text, unless the EU gives the nod to impose sanctions on Turkey over its illegal drillings in the territorial waters of Greece and Cyprus.

“Our reaction to any kind of violation of our core basic values and principles cannot be a la carte. It needs to be consistent,” the Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said.

Nicosia’s move came almost a month after the bloc agreed to sanction up to 20 senior Belarusian officials for their role in the “rigged” elections and the subsequent police crackdown on protesters.

“Although there is a clear will to adopt those sanctions, it has not been possible to do that today, because the required unanimity was not reached,” the Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, told journalists after the meeting.

He added that he hoped to see an agreement reached at the next foreign affairs council (FAC), scheduled for October 12, notably saying that the Union’s credibility “is at stake.”

Last week, Europe’s lawmakers requested sanctions on the individuals responsible for the falsification of the election results and for the violent repression in Belarus, including on long-timer ruler Aleksander Lukashenko, and on the poisoners of the Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny.

Addressing MEPs on Monday, Belarus opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also urged the EU to be “brave” when it comes their next steps concerning the situation in Belarus, asking for fair elections and solidarity with Belarusian people, as well as for EU sanctions on individuals, under an EU-style Magnitsky Act.

News by NewEurope

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