In the document signed by the Western allies, the actions of the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, were harshly criticized, and he promised tough economic sanctions, accusing Lukashenko of using immigrants as political weapons against the West.
“We remain committed to supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and unite to impose costs on the regime – and its supporters – for its efforts to silence the voices of independent civil society, the media, and all who seek Belarus to tell the truth. About what is happening in the countryAllied Books.
“We once again demand the Lukashenko regime to put an immediate and complete end to the regulation of irregular migration across its borders with the European Union,” the allies emphasized.
Lukashenko’s government has already responded, calling the new sanctions “ridiculous.”. “The depth of the absurdity of this decision begins to defy all logic,” the Belarusian foreign ministry said in a statement. Minsk also threatened to retaliate “with strict, disproportionate, but appropriate measures.”
In a statement issued by the US State Department, the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, recalls that this is the third time that allies have acted in concert against Belarus, accusing Lukashenko of “disrespect for human rights”.
Blinken explained that the tightening of sanctions shows “our unwavering determination to act in the face of a brutal regime that increasingly oppresses Belarusians, undermines peace and security in Europe, and continues to exploit people who only seek to live in freedom.”
The US Treasury announced that it is targeting 20 individuals and 12 organizations close to the Lukashenko regime, for “facilitating the entry of … immigrants into the European Union” and “participating in acts of repression against human rights and democracy.” On the European side, the EU sanctions list was officially extended today to include 28 officials and entities, including the national airline Belavia.
In the joint statement, the allies also called for the “unconditional and without delay” release of nearly 900 political prisoners, as well as the “implementation of the recommendations of the mission of independent experts, within the framework of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism”. Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)”.
The allies also say they want “new, free and fair presidential elections, under international observation” in Belarus.
The EU accuses Belarus of artificially causing the current migration crisis by attracting people, especially from the Middle East, with the promise of easy entry from Europe – in retaliation for the EU sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime.
Since the beginning of 2021, more than 11,500 migrants have been detained at the Polish-Belarus border, about 5,000 people have been deported and at least 13 have died.
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