Foreign minister: New Belarus sanctions should take effect on Thursday

Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets.
Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The European Union's new package of Belarus sanctions should enter into force on Thursday (December 2), Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said on Monday.

Speaking to ERR, Liimets said: "Preparations for Belarus' fifth sanctions package are almost finalized and they are planned to be adopted this week. This is planned for December 2."

The minister would not say who or what entities are on the list.

"Premature disclosure of this information could cause undue confusion. It would also allow these individuals to react quickly and, for example, restructure [their] assets or something similar," she said.

Estonia has not considered opening Taiwanese representative office

Asked, if Estonia will open a Taiwanese representative office, similar to Lithuania, the minister said this has not been considered.

On Monday, MP Madis Milling (Reform), who is part of a 10-member delegation to Taipei this week, said opening an office in Tallinn and diplomatic Taiwanese recognition could be Estonia's long-term goal.

But Liimets dismissed the idea when asked by ERR. She said Estonia communicates with China and has relations with Taiwan within the "One China Policy" framework which the EU also follows.  

Estonia also has additional relations with Taipei in the economic and cultural sectors.

"We have a number of practical activities, but we have not considered opening a representative office and neither side has shown any particular interest in it. At the same time, this has not prevented a relationship from developing," she said.

"Estonia does not currently plan to review this policy," Liimets added.

The issue has become a topic of discussion in the Baltic states after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a "representative office" - a de facto embassy - using the name Taiwan rather than the name of the capital Taipei.

Relations between China and Lithuania have soured since then and last week the Chinese embassy in Vilnius suspended the provision of consular services.

China denies Taiwan is its own territory and rejects any attempts by the self-ruled island to participate in international forums or establish diplomatic relations with other countries that would give it international recognition.

Milling is a member of the Riigikogu's Estonia-Taiwan Friendship Group.

Liimets to meet UK foreign secretary

On Tuesday, Liimets will travel to Riga to attend the meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

She said it is hoped there will be messages from the alliance about unity and guaranteeing defense capabilities and deterrence in Europe.

"The renewal of NATO's Strategic Concept, which will be adopted at next year's Madrid Summit, is currently on the table, and it is very important from Estonia's point of view that this Strategic Concept reflects the current security situation and offers NATO tools to operate in this security situation," Liimets said.

The minister will also meet with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as part of the meeting of foreign ministers. Liimets and Truss also met last month in the United Kingdom.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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