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5 Nov, 2020 17:56

Brussels vs. Lukashenko: EU to impose additional sanctions on Minsk, targeting both President and his son, sources tell TASS

Brussels vs. Lukashenko: EU to impose additional sanctions on Minsk, targeting both President and his son, sources tell TASS

The EU has agreed to impose new sanctions against Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, three months after the country's controversial election, which the opposition claims was obviously rigged.

That's according to the sources of Moscow-based news agency TASS, which reported on Wednesday that permanent representatives of the 27 EU member states had agreed on a new set of measures against Minsk. In October, EU leaders announced sanctions on 40 Belarusian officials, but the list did not include Lukashenko. Thus far, they appear to have had little consequence, with the country’s leadership showing no intention of stepping down.

When the first sanctions were imposed, European Council President Charles Michel explained that the measures were chosen to punish Belarus for “violence against protesters” and “election fraud.”

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“The European Union stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus, and we don't accept impunity,” Michel said.

In September, EU Vice-President Josep Borrell announced that the bloc would not recognize Lukashenko as the president of Belarus, having previously called the contested August elections “neither free nor fair.”

A month after the initial sanctions, TASS believes that the EU Council will soon approve additional measures, this time directly targeting the Belarusian president. According to German state-fundeed broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the sanctions will also hit Lukashenko's son Viktor, presidential administration head Igor Sergeenko, and KGB intelligence chief Ivan Tertel.

Also on rt.com As protests continue in Belarus, embattled President Lukashenko fails to grasp ‘seriousness’ of situation – Moscow expert

Belarus has seen large protests almost daily since August 9, when the country's election commission announced that 80.1% of the electorate voted for the long-time president, with just 10.12% opting for his most prominent opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The demonstrations have ended in large numbers of arrests and detentions, with the country's security services being accused of brutality.

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