Tensions escalate between Belarus and the European Union: Lukashenko suspends his participation in the Eastern Partnership of the European bloc
Belarus announced on Monday the suspension of its participation in the Eastern Partnership of the European Union (EU)., a space for rapprochement between the bloc and the former Soviet republics, to protest against Sanctions against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko after the interception of a commercial airliner.
“We cannot fulfill our obligations under this agreement in the context of EU sanctions and restrictions.”The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it also announced that its ambassador to Brussels had been recalled for “consultation”. He also added that he started Application of suspension procedures.
Europeans stepped up pressure measures on Belarus after suppressing a massive protest movement sparked by their re-election in August 2020, Considered fraudulent, by President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian Ministry also “invited” the head of the European delegation in Belarus to return to Brussels “To convey to their leaders the unacceptable nature of pressure and sanctions.”
According to the Belarusian regime, the suspension of the Eastern Partnership, which was launched in 2009 with six countries, “It will negatively affect interaction with the European Union in the fight against illegal immigration and organized crime,” he added.
To the European officials who participated in the development of sanctions against Belarus They will be prevented from entering their landsAccording to the same source.
These Belarusian retaliatory responses come after the new round of economic and individual sanctions adopted by the Europeans It took effect last week.
European sanctions were adopted in response to The Belarusian government intercepted a Ryanair commercial plane on May 23 Flying over Belarusian territory and Two passengers were arrested, opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his Russian partner, Sofia Sabiga.
President of the European Council, Charles MichelOn Monday, Belarus viewed the decision to suspend its participation in the Eastern Partnership Program as a “step back”. “Today, Belarus has taken another step back by suspending its participation in the Eastern Partnership”, tweeted the President of the Council, which represents the countries of the European Union.
This scale, according to Michel, “It will increase tensions and have a clear negative impact on the Belarusian people by depriving them of the opportunities that our cooperation provides.”
So the Belgian politician launched two messages: One is aimed at the Belarusian people and the other is aimed at the Lukashenko regime.
“To the people of Belarus: You can count on the European Union. Said Michel and I reminded him of his “right” to elect his “president through new, free and fair elections.”
“For President Lukashenko’s regime: put the future of Belarus first,” the head of the council concluded.
The Council of the European Union imposed economic sanctions on Belarus last Thursday In the face of escalating human rights violations and violent repression of civil society, democratic opposition and the press.
Penalties They include restricting trade in petroleum products, potash, and commodities used in the manufacture of tobacco products. For his part, Lukashenko said last week that he was already ready to implement martial law in Belarus European Union sanctions on the economy of the former Soviet Republic.
“It shouldn’t be there No (economic) collapse in any company. We will apply martial law if necessary.”The president said during a visit to the Grodno region in light of the possible economic repercussions of sectoral sanctions.
According to Lukashenko, The Belarusian economy should not suffer from the restrictions of the European Union, so he urged finding new ways to diversify the economy: We must show those bastards on the other side of the border Her punishments speak of her impotence. we will “.
Belarus was part of the Eastern Partnership Program with the European Union, It also consists of Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, since its inception in 2009.
The European Union supported the opposition’s peaceful protests against fraud in the August 2020 presidential election, and since then, And demanded its repetition and the release of political prisoners.
(with information from the AFP and EFE)