The European Union will impose sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and 14 other Belarusian officials next week.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reporter Rikard Jozwiak announced this on Twitter.
"EU ambassadors will on Wed give green light to impose asset freezes and visa bans on #Lukashenko & 14 other Belarusians. Will be confirmed on 6 November," he tweeted on October 30.
Elections and protests in Belarus: 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 secretly sworn in a ceremony held behind closed doors in Minsk.
- On October 26, a national strike of indefinite duration began in Belarus.