EU Decides It Will Impose New Sanctions on Belarus
Nov. 16, 2021 (EIRNS)—European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday agreed to impose new sanctions on Belarus. The European Council today “amended its sanctions regime in view of the situation at the EU’s border with Belarus, so as to be able to respond to the instrumentalization of human beings carried out by the Belarus regime for political purposes,” an EU statement said. “Today’s decision reflects the determination by the European Union to stand up to the instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes. We are pushing back on this inhuman and illegal practice,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement, typically, accusing Belarus of committing the very acts that Brussels is doing.
According to Deutsche Welle, the move means that sanctions will include airlines and travel agents allegedly involved in the standoff at the Belarusian borders with EU member states Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. EU headquarters said the bloc “will now be able to target individuals and entities organizing or contributing to activities by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the EU’s external borders.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “Coming days will be decisive. We are also trying to help the countries of origin.”
Lukashenko promised a tough response to the EU sanctions. “Facilitating a migration flow through Belarus is more trouble than it is worth,” he said at a meeting yesterday with the working group to finalize the new Constitution draft, reported BelTA. “We have never done this and do not intend to do it. They are trying to intimidate us with sanctions. Okay, we will see. They think that I did not mean what I said. Nothing of this kind. We will defend ourselves. We have nowhere to retreat,” the President stressed. “We will respond to the sanctions. This is not even up for discussion.”