EU expected to hit Belarus with new sanctions

Photo: EPA EU Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell

EU foreign ministers will meet on Monday in Luxembourg to blacklist dozens more supporters of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in a bid to tighten the vice on his government and strengthen its opponents, news wires reported. Seventy-eight individuals are to be hit with measures like EU travel bans or having assets located in the bloc frozen, EU sources told dpa last week.

 

At least seven entities such as state institutions or companies are also to be targeted, according to the same sources.

The 27 ministers are also to discuss a larger, harder-hitting set of economic sanctions taking aim at cash cow sectors. An EU diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity said they expect the ministers to come to a "clear political agreement" on what these should cover.

Options floated so far have included potash - a potassium-rich salt used to make fertilizer - oil products and financial services. But these won't be ready to implement on Monday, a senior EU official said.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has called for tough EU measures, is also to speak with the ministers in Luxembourg, dpa reported.

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