The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of EU Member States (COREPER) has endorsed the decision to introduce sanctions targeting Alexander Lukashenko and 14 Belarusian officials.

That's according to Rikard Jozwiak, RFE/RL's correspondent in Brussels.

EU ambassadors have given "green light" to impose asset freezes and visa bans, Jozwiak reported via Twitter.

The list will be published in the EU official journal on Friday, the journalist added.

Belarus elections, protests: Background

  • On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. According to the Central Election Commission's official data, 80.1% of voters backed Alexander Lukashenko, and 10.1% voted for his main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
  • Following the announcement of the election outcome, protests swept across the country. Security officials have been detaining and using force against protesters, opening politically charged cases against opposition figures. Hundreds have been injured, with a few lethal incidents reported.
  • The Belarusian opposition has created the Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power.
  • The European Union has not recognized the election results and decided to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for rigging the vote and violently cracking down on protesters.
  • On September 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on Belarus. The MPs branded the elections unfair, condemned repression, and supported EU sanctions against Belarusian officials.
  • Lukashenko on September 23 was secretly sworn in a ceremony held behind closed doors in Minsk.
  • On October 26, an indefinite national strike began in Belarus.