The European Union has assured this Monday that the arrest and “kidnapping” of, among others, the Belarusian opponent Maria Kolesnikova is “unacceptable” and shows that the repression in Belarus continues, when five weeks of citizen mobilizations against President Alexander Lukashenko have been completed. .
“The arbitrary detentions and kidnappings for political reasons in Belarus, including the brutal actions against Andrei Yahorau, Irina Sukhiy and Maria Kolesnikova, are unacceptable,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, in a comment in his Twitter profile.
Furthermore, the head of European diplomacy has stressed that the Minsk authorities must stop intimidating citizens and violating their own laws and international obligations.
At a press conference in Brussels, the Commission’s foreign spokesman stressed that these cases demonstrate the “continuous repression” of Minsk against the civilian population and activist leaders in Belarus.
The Belarusian Interior Ministry has confirmed the arrest of 633 people for participating in Sunday’s demonstrations against the Lukashenko regime, according to the state news agency Belta.
Minsk alleges that the detainees have breached the legislation on mass events with their participation in the protests and has indicated that on Sunday there were 42 demonstrations in various parts of the country that gathered, according to their calculations, some 31,000 people.
The crisis that emerged in Belarus after the announcement of the result of the presidential elections of August 9, considered fraudulent by the opposition and which have led to the largest demonstrations in the recent history of the country, was quickly responded to by the EU which in mid-August announced that it would sanction Minsk and accompany a political transition in the country.
The matter was debated at an extraordinary summit of European leaders who agreed to apply restrictions against a score of people responsible for electoral fraud and repression in the former Soviet republic. In addition, the EU urged the opening of an internal dialogue in the country, sponsored by the OSCE, which has not yet materialized.
Despite the agile reaction of the EU, the process to define the final list of Belarusian leaders who will be sanctioned has been delayed in its processing in the EU Council and is not expected to be published this week either, according to community sources. .
Thus, the scope of the sanctions or whether they will include Lukashenko himself is still unknown. The consulted sources attribute the situation to the normal channel that leads this type of decisions in the community institutions and rule out disagreements in the EU on sanctions.