EU Ministers agree to impose sanctions against Lukashenko

The head of European diplomacy pointed to Lukashenko’s “complete lack of desire” to consider holding new elections.

EU Foreign Ministers agreed to impose sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and other high-ranking officials connected with the August 9 elections, which, according to the West, were rigged.

Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, was not included in the EU’s 40-name sanctions list agreed on October 2, but the bloc has now said that its refusal to consider holding new elections as a way out of the crisis leaves the EU with no choice.

“This is a response to the development of the situation in Belarus,” European diplomacy Chief Josep Borrell, who chaired the Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, told reporters.

“There were no signals from the Belarusian authorities about participating in any dialogue,” he said, referring to Lukashenko’s “complete lack of desire” to consider the possibility of negotiations on holding free and fair presidential elections.

It is likely to take several days to prepare a new series of sanctions. Still, diplomats said measures such as entry bans and asset freezes no longer depend on the situation in Belarus, which Ministers say is getting significantly worse.