Lithuania says EU’s inaction over Belarus undermines foreign policy credibility

The EU’s lack of action over Belarus is undermining the credibility of its foreign policy, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

The EU needs to encourage democracy and counter Russia’s influence in Belarus, Linkevičius said, adding that the bloc should provide “concrete help” to help the opposition.

“Sometimes we react too late and our measures are fragmented and aren’t making any impression on society or the people in power,” Linkevičius told the Financial Times.

“When we will not stand true on our national commitments, it will shatter our own foundation”, he said. “Belarusian people should not feel deserted.”

EU foreign ministers had reached a political agreement in Berlin in late August on punitive measures against high-ranking supporters of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko to pressure him into holding new elections.

According to the political agreement, the future measures on Belarus are meant to mainly target those accused of being responsible for the fraudulent elections and the violent crackdown on peaceful protests, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell told reporters in Berlin after the meeting.

Linkevičius said that he would have preferred the EU to wield sanctions, as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia had done against President Alexander Lukashenko and 29 other Belarusian officials.

This story originally  appeared on EurActiv, and was edited for brevity by LRT English.

LRT.LT

One Comment

  1. Stephanie Stephanie Monday, September 7, 2020

    The little American lap dog is yapping the loudest!
    When will we hear Linkevicius comment on Israel’s land grab and genocide against the Palestinians?
    Or the destruction of countries in Africa for their oil ?Libya, Iraq come to mind.
    Or helping that beacon of human rights and democracy, Saudi Arabia, destroy Yemen?
    Or condemning the US/CIA for cooperating with Afghan war-lords and flying CIA planes to deliver opium to Europe? There are more poppies being grown there now than ever before!

    Well, I guess that when you are occupied by the US military and their European army, NATO (though LT is a member, who gives the orders?) maybe it makes sense to show the masters your loyalty.
    Does anyone really believe that the wife of an opposition vlogger defeated Lukashenko? He may not have gotten 80%, but she certainly didn’t get anywhere near 50+.

    As an aside-does Minsk have pensioners begging in the street as they are in Vilnius? Belarus may not be the ideal, but is Lithuania or, more so, the United States? Look up the statistics (there is an excellent summary on http://www.unz.com) and then be righteous.

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