EU foreign ministers are set to hold an extraordinary meeting on Friday, August 14, to discuss sanctions against Belarus following the country’s disputed election and the violent suppression of opposition protesters, Reuters reports, citing Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
“I absolutely think we need to consider broadening targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violence against the protesters (and) for the election fraud — those involved in the electoral process not having turned out free and fair,” Linde said during a radio interview (as cited by Reuters).
“Any decision on sanctions would require an agreement by all 27 EU member states, meaning no imminent move is expected,” Reuters says, pointing out that such decisions can take weeks or even months.
On August 11, the foreign ministers of eight European countries made a joint appeal to Minsk, asking the authorities to enter into a political dialogue with the opposition immediately. The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine said they were prepared to act as mediators. RBK reports that Latvia has offered to mediate, as well.
According to RBK, on August 12, Lithuania stated that it is considering sanctions against Belarus, unless the authorities in Minsk accept their offer to mediate during the crisis.