News World Polish FM flags possibility of national sanctions against Belarus

Polish FM flags possibility of national sanctions against Belarus

If the European Union does not impose sanctions on Belarusian officials, EU member states neighbouring Belarus could consider imposing their own national sanctions, Poland’s foreign minister said on Monday.

Zbigniew Rau, speaking at a news conference in Budapest, said he hoped the EU would be able to reach a consensus soon on penalties, which he said were needed in view of the “evident violation of human rights” in Belarus against protesters.

“This issue (of sanctions) has been delayed due to the objection by one of the EU members, but we will come back to this at the EU forum,” Rau said via an interpreter after meeting Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Cyprus has blocked an EU plan to impose sanctions against Belarus over alleged election fraud and human rights abuses due to a separate dispute with Turkey.

The issue has embarrassed the EU, highlighting how easily decision-making can become paralysed in areas such as foreign policy where unanimity among the 27 member states is required.

Belarus was plunged into turmoil following a presidential election last month that President Alexander Lukashenko says he won by a landslide, but the opposition says was rigged. In power for 26 years, he has shown scant inclination to resign, buoyed by support from Russia.

Poland, which shares a border with Belarus, wants the EU to offer Minsk financial aid of at least 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion) as part of a ‘Marshall Plan’ to rebuild the country and help make it less reliant on Russia.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is often at loggerheads with the EU over his tough stance on migration and over democratic freedoms, has defended the right of a single member state to prevent the whole bloc from making decisions.

“Don’t humiliate Cyprus,” Orban told Reuters in an interview on Friday. “Sanctions could be negotiated again and again, and if there is a unanimity … we can do so. But now there is no agreement.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Twenty covid patients at referral hospital

  The number of patients at the Famagusta General Hospital, the referral institution for coronavirus, remains stable at 20. Four are in the Increased care unit,...

76 thousand covid vaccinations across Cyprus

  Seventy six thousand people had been vaccinated in Cyprus as of yesterday, with 53 and a half thousand having received the first dose of...

More than 10 thousand covid checks in 24 hours

  Covid violation checks across the country have intensified with almost ten and a half conducted in just the past 24 hours across the country. 94...

14 sexual abuse or harassment complaints, more expected

  Complaints to police over indecent assaults or sexual abuse, have reached 14, including two male actors naming directors from Greece who have worked for...

More than three million euro in covid fines, 3.5 million pending

  The government has collected 3.3 million euro in covid violations fines since March last year, when restrictions were first imposed. Charges remain on the up...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...