Crisis on the Poland-Belarus border: the EU expanded sanctions against Lukashenko and the US prepares new measures against the dictator

A group of Polish soldiers patrol the border with Belarus near Kuznica, Poland (Photo: Reuters) (HANDOUT /)

The United States will announce “very soon” new sanctions against Belarus due to the migrant crisis at the borders of the European Union (EU)a US official explained on Wednesday after the EU agreed to new punishments.

I think you will see a coordinated sanctions package very soon“With the European Union, said this official to journalists during the visit of the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, to Sweden. According to this diplomatic source, new sanctions could be decided this week.

A little earlier the same day, after the NATO meeting in Latvia, Blinken had confirmed that Washington was preparing new sanctions against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. “We call on the regime to immediately stop using migrants as political weapons“Said the head of US diplomacy.

The sanctions, which have been prepared since mid-November, are coordinated with Brussels and “other partners and allies “he explained before the meeting in Sweden of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which will last until Friday.

For months, The EU accuses Belarus of driving a wave of migration to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, three EU countries, in retaliation for the sanctions following the repression of the Belarusian opposition that rejected the reelection of Lukashenko.

Aleksander Lukashenka (Photo: Reuters)
Aleksander Lukashenka (Photo: Reuters) (KACPER PEMPEL /)

According to the latest figures from the Commission, this year slightly less than 8,000 immigrants through Belarus: 4,285 in Lithuania, 3,255 in Poland and 426 in Latvia.

The European Commission last week estimated the number of immigrants “trapped” in Belarus at 15,000, including 2,000 at the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

By The European Union (EU), the representatives of the 27 countries of the European Union reached a political agreement on Wednesday to extend the list of sanctions to Belarus, with the inclusion of 28 officials and entities, according to European sources.

This agreement must still be formally adopted by a Council of Ministers, on Thursday, before the names of the officials and entities are published in the Official Gazette of the EU. According to European sources, 17 officials and 11 Belarusian entities will be added to the sanctioned list.

Migrants in a refugee camp on the border between Poland and Belarus (Photo: Reuters)
Migrants in a refugee camp on the border between Poland and Belarus (Photo: Reuters) (BelTA /)

The EU sanctions list already has 166 names, including Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and his two children, as well as 15 entities linked to his government.

For all of them, entry into the EU space is banned, and the freezing of eventual assets they have in the block is also determined. This list was adopted by the EU in the wake of the Belarusian government’s violent crackdown in 2020 on protests over alleged election irregularities in which Lukashenko was reelected.

Furthermore, the Lukashenko regime forced a passenger plane to land in Kiev in order to arrest an opponent. Following is gesture, The EU prohibits Belarusian airlines from accessing the European area and using its airports.

Alexander Lukashenko claimed to be ready for “fend”Against European sanctions.

(With information from AFP)

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