Vseviov: Lukashenko getting opposite expected reaction from Europe
Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko is getting the opposite reaction from Europe that he hoped for with his hybrid attack, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Jonathan Vseviov said on Tuesday.
Vseviov said the goal of Lukashenko's hybrid attack, which sends migrants to the borders of Europe, is to confuse and divide Europe and reduce the sanctions placed on Belarus.
"Lukashenko has received exactly the opposite of what he hoped for: we are not confused, our messages have become stronger and more united, and the sanctions he tried to get rid of are getting tougher," Vseviov told ETV's "Vikerhommik" radio show, commenting on the meetings of EU foreign and defense ministers.
On Monday, ministers agreed to broaden the scope of sanctions so they can be applied to officials and businesses complicit in the movement of migrants.
Vseviov said the EU applied sanctions are working.
"But we need to be confident, not lose our nerve, and make sure that our messages are clear - not just what we say, but also what we put into practice," he added.
The official said the European Union often acts more slowly than individual countries would like, but this is because it is a complex system and requires every country's support.
"But I believe the recent episode has shown that when we take action, we act decisively," he said.
West is monitoring Ukraine and supporting Kyiv
Speaking about the build-up of the Russian military on the eastern border of Ukraine, Vseviov emphasized that Europe must keep its attention on all areas of concern.
"The most dangerous situation is one where something smolders under the ashes, but everyone's attention is focused somewhere else," he said.
"We have also learned from recent years: we need to be constantly vigilant and we need to talk publicly about what we are seeing. That is what we are doing for Ukraine."
He added it is important to make sure the allied forces are in agreement and that they show support for Ukraine.
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Editor: Helen Wright