On Friday, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu and Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics agreed to establish joint sanctions targeted at Belarusian officials responsible for election fraud and violence used to suppress peaceful protests in Belarus.
Reinsalu (Isamaa) wrote in a press release on Friday: "Belarus is in our immediate neighbourhood and it is all the more important to react quickly and send a clear signal."
The ministers will present the specific list of sanctions to their respective governments in the near future.
The joint statement reads as follows:
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia are expressing deepest concern about the presidential election in Belarus, the result of which has not been recognized by the Belarusian society, and are urging for a peaceful and lawful resolution of the current crisis in Belarus.
"Ministries welcome the results of the European Council convened on Wednesday, 19 August 2020 and decide to move forward in a joint action of introducing targeted individual sanctions against Belarusian officials responsible for falsifying presidential elections in Belarus and exerting excessive force against peaceful protesters in the streets of Belarusian cities.
"Estonia and Latvia have prepared the lists of Belarusian officials. Sanctions will envisage visa ban. Bilateral action of introducing sanctions on a national level will take place ahead of upcoming European Union sanctions in accordance with national procedures.
"Estonia and Latvia value very highly the basic principles of democracy among which rights of citizens to express their political will through free and fair elections belong to most important democratic fundamentals. Estonia and Latvia highly value observance of political rights and democratic standards throughout the world."
Estonia and Latvia will continue to work actively towards strengthening support for Belarusian civic society. Belarus is and will remain an important neighbour and Estonia and Latvia will continue to maintain friendly neighbourly relations with the people of Belarus.
Estonia ???????? and Latvia ???????? today agreed on sanctions targeting Belarusian officials responsible for violence and election fraud. Together with @edgarsrinkevics, we will continue to actively stand for democracy & human rights.— Urmas Reinsalu (@UrmasReinsalu) August 21, 2020
➡️ Joint statement: https://t.co/o74qlEsjw3 pic.twitter.com/pHk4eBJFDm
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste