U.S. supports the European Parliament resolution on the immediate imposition of sanctions on Belarusian officials, responsible, as they believe, for rigging the last presidential election and persecution of the opposition. On its part, the U.S. is ready to take further steps in this direction. This was stated by State Department spokesman Philip Crowley on Thursday, January 20.
«We are conducting a thorough consultation with the EU partners on this issue. We know and support the steps, being taken by the EU, and are ready to take additional steps to renew sanctions that had been removed,» said Philip Crowley.
The U.S. imposed sanctions against a number of Belarusian officials in 2006; two years ago the sanctions were partially lifted, according to RIA «Novosti.»
The final decision on the introduction of the European Union sanctions will be taken by the foreign ministers of 27 member-countries of the EU in Brussels on January 31. On Thursday, January 20, MEPs adopted a resolution, calling for immediate sanctions against the Belarusian leadership. The document calls on the EU Council, in particular, to introduce visa ban and asset freeze on Belarusian senior executives, government officials, the judiciary and security agencies.
The list of possible sanctions is not limited to the visa ban and freezing of accounts, but also suggests the possible exclusion of Belarus from the EU «Eastern Partnership,» as well as Minsk’s deprivation of the right to hold the world ice hockey championship in 2014.
As stated in the EP resolution, the sanctions will remain in force until the Belarusian authorities release all political prisoners and opposition members and lift all their charges.
Meanwhile, as Telegraf previously reported, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko instructed to prepare a response «up to the toughest measures» to the Western countries’ possible sanctions against the official Minsk.