Reinsalu emphasizes urgent need for EU action on Belarus sanctions
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu stressed the need for agreement on European Union sanctions targetting Belarusian officials at an informal EU ministers meeting on Thursday. The measures should not harm ordinary citizens, he said.
At the informal meeting of European Union foreign affairs ministers in Berlin, Reinsalu (Isamaa) said the central figure in the violence and falsification of Belarus' elections is Alexander Lukashenko.
"An agreement is needed on sanctions targeting those responsible for falsifying the elections and for the violence in Belarus, and they must be enforced at the earliest opportunity," Reinsalu said.
"It is crucial to keep the European Union and other international organisations focused on the situation. The emphasis should be on preventing a further escalation of violence and finding a peaceful political solution, which would result in new elections."
Reinsalu briefed the foreign ministers on the actions of Estonia and its allies at the United Nations Security Council discussions concerning Belarus earlier this month.
He stressed the importance of supporting civil society and the free press in Belarus: "We must jointly demand for the Belarusian authorities to release the people who have been detained illegally," Reinsalu said. "The European Union, the United States and like-minded countries should coordinate their messages on Belarus."
The foreign ministers discussed the possible list of individuals targeted by sanctions and agreed on continuing the procedure for imposing sanctions.
Stressed the need to investigate the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Also, targeted sanctions against officials responsible for electoral fraud in BY have to be established ASAP. #Gymnich #EU2020DE pic.twitter.com/iW4CRGQUMr— Urmas Reinsalu (@UrmasReinsalu) August 27, 2020
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Editor: Helen Wright