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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 23.09.2020, 17:48

Latvia will support sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for violent crackdown of protesters

BC, Riga, 13.08.2020.Print version
Given that violence against peaceful protesters in Belarus continues and there is a lack of political dialogue, Latvia will support individual sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for the violent crackdown against protesters and electoral fraud, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said on Twitter, cites LETA.

The minister will inform of Latvia's position at the forthcoming European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Friday.

The Saeima's European Affairs Committee plans to discuss Latvia's national position for this meeting in a closed session tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) wrote in his Twitter account that h has called an emergency government meeting on August 17 to discuss the situation in Belarus. The Cabinet of Ministers will listen to Rinkevics' report and decide on further actions, the prime minister points out, adding that Latvia supports the desire of the Belarusian society to live in a free and democratic country.

As reported, European Union foreign ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting on Friday to review the situation in Belarus, Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced.

"We will discuss urgent issues and address the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Belarus Presidential elections as well as developments in Lebanon," he tweeted Wednesday.

The European Union says both the situation in Belarus following the contested re-election for a sixth term of strongman Alexander Lukashenko and growing Greece-Turkey tensions over oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean are very serious cause for concern.

On Tuesday, the bloc condemned the Belarus election as "neither free nor fair" and Borrell threatened sanctions against "those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results."

Friday's meeting will be held via a video conference, meaning the foreign ministers cannot make policy decisions but they can, for example, commission officials to look at what options are available.

"That would speed up the process of adopting concrete action," an EU source said.

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