EU ready to impose new sanctions on Belarus
Leaders of the 27 EU member states demanded to ensure unhindered access of international humanitarian organizations to Belarus.
In a joint statement adopted on Thursday, December 16, leaders of the 27 EU countries condemned Minsk’s actions, which triggered the “humanitarian crisis” on the EU border, and declared their readiness to impose new sanctions on Belarus. The leaders also demanded to ensure unhindered access of international humanitarian organizations to Belarus.
“The European council underlines in particular the importance of promptly implementing restrictive measures following the adoption of the fifth package of listings, and being prepared to adopt further measures as necessary”, the document says. “The European Council underlines in particular the importance of ensuring unhindered access for international organizations in Belarus and stepping up humanitarian support [and] supporting the return of migrants [to their home countries] from Belarus”, the statement says. The summit participants also urged to strengthen the union’s external borders and fight human trafficking.
Apart from that, the document contains a standard set of accusations against Minsk, including of human rights violations, repressions against the opposition and the media. It also contains a call to release political prisoners and elect a new president “through free and fair elections”.
EU countries accuse Minsk of the deliberate escalation of the crisis and call for more sanctions against Belarus. According to Warsaw, the Belarusian authorities deliberately bring migrants to the border and help them storm it. President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the blame for this situation rests on Western countries because people are fleeing their countries gripped by hostilities provoked by their actions.