EU Spokesman Says Sanctions on Belarus, Possibly Lukashenko Still Under Discussion

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union is still underway with finalizing the scope of sanctions and the individuals to which they will apply over the situation in Belarus, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said on Friday following reports that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko might not end up on the list.

“The member states are discussing the final list of those who will be sanctioned, so the scope, extent and those who would be sanctioned are subject of ongoing discussions,” Stano told a briefing when asked to comment on whether Lukashenko should be expected to be on the list.

The spokesman did not specify the date that the list could be released, saying that setting a timeline at this point was “premature.”

“I can only recall the political commitment made by the EU foreign ministers that we want to see the results as soon as it gets,” Stano added.

Earlier in the day, German newspaper Die Welt reported, citing EU diplomatic sources, that the EU will not be imposing individual sanctions against Lukashenko due to objections by Germany, France and Italy.

An informal meeting of EU foreign ministers took place on August 28, during which they agreed to move forward with sanctioning high-ranking Belarusian officials responsible for the crackdown on post-election protests. Speaking after the meeting, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said the list would likely include around 20 officials, but did not specify if Lukashenko should be expected to be among them.

Mass opposition protests were held across Belarus following the August 9 presidential election which saw Lukashenko reelected for a sixth term. While according to the electoral authorities Lukashenko collected over 80 percent of the vote, the opposition has insisted on that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, an opposition candidate, won the election.

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