Belarus Foreign Minister Haavisto: Lithuania fears sanctions against Belarus could make the country drive more Iraqis to the border

The sanctions list now being prepared includes at least the Belarusian transport and defense ministers.

European the union is imposing sanctions on 86 Belarusian individuals and companies, according to Reuters. Freezing of funds and travel bans will be introduced for the time being, EU External Relations Representative said Josep Borrell.

According to Reuters, it is still open when economic sanctions will be imposed on the Belarussian leadership.

Now the prepared list includes 76 people and eight institutions or companies, Borrell said at the start of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg. Among the 76 people are at least the Belarusian Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defense.

On Friday, EU countries already reached an agreement on sanctions on Belarus’ oil and banking sectors and potash production.

According to Borrell, these sanctions will not be signed at the EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting, but will be discussed at the next meeting of the Council of Europe.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto (Green) said at a news conference after the Foreign Ministers’ meeting that the situation in Belarus is gloomier than before. There are more and more political prisoners and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the opposition to act.

New the sanctions relate to the re-routing of an aircraft by Belarus in its airspace in May. Belarussian authorities made a mistake under the guise of a bomb threat Ryanair on a flight from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk and arrested by an opposition activist Raman Pratasevich and his female friend Sofia Sapegan.

According to Haavisto, the new sanctions list has eight people involved in the Ryanair case.

Haavisto said sanctions plans have brought Belarus closer to EU leaders. Haavisto received a call from the Belarusian Foreign Minister From Uladzimir Sweets on Sunday and called for the country to release political prisoners, enter into a dialogue with the opposition and hold new free elections under the auspices of OSCE observers.

In early June, the EU also banned a Belarusian airline from landing at EU airports. Flying in the airspace of EU countries was also banned.

Foreign Ministers the meeting also addressed Belarus, a neighbor of Belarus arranged flow of Iraqi migrants. About 400 Iraqis have arrived in Lithuania in a short time, which is almost five times more than last year.

According to Haavisto, the issue was discussed with the Belarusian opposition leader who visited for breakfast Svjatlana Tsihanouskajan that lunch was visited by the Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein with.

The foreign ministers raised concerns with Hussein that refugees are being used as a tool to cause turbulence at the border.

“The Lithuanian Foreign Minister was very concerned that when the sanctions package is adopted, [Valko-Venäjän] the actions can continue, ”says Haavisto.

According to Haavisto, Finland’s speech emphasized that border security is a common problem and that EU countries must show solidarity through the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex.

Saturday was reportedthat Finnish border guards leave for the Lithuanian-Belarusian border as part of Frontex’s mission.

Belarus decades of authoritarian rule Alexander Lukashenko presented a direct threat to the EU from migrants in May.

“We stopped migrants and drugs – now you have to catch them yourself and treat them,” he said on May 26th.

According to Haavisto, Lukashenko’s threat is “completely inappropriate.”

“I brought this up yesterday [Valko-Venäjän] with the Foreign Minister and said that this was inappropriate and undermined EU-Belarus relations. “

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