The EU aims to impose new sanctions against Belarusian officials responsible for the brutal crackdown in the ex-Soviet state, as Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on August 14. He slammed the post-electoral unrest as "completely unacceptable." DW news agency reported this.
"We aim to put certain persons who are known and took part in crimes against peaceful protests under the EU sanctions regime," he said on Friday. Maas and his colleagues from other EU countries were discussing the issue in a teleconference on Friday. The targets and the scope of the measures have yet to be determined. A European official said that "a list of names will be drawn up."
The top diplomats from the bloc's 27 member states met on August 14 to review former restrictions against Belarus party leadership that the EU removed in 2016, citing progress in improving the rule of law.
The sanctions had targeted arms companies, frozen assets and implemented travel bans.
The video talks were called after a controversial election win for President Alexander Lukashenko and days of violence against anti-government protesters.
Maas' comments on sanctions echo those made by a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the talks.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted earlier Friday that additional sanctions were needed against "those who violated democratic values or abused human rights in Belarus."
We need additional sanctions against those who violated democratic values or abused human rights in #Belarus.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 14, 2020
I am confident today’s EU Foreign Ministers’ discussion will demonstrate our strong support for the rights of the people in Belarus to fundamental freedoms & democracy.