BRUSSELS, December 7./TASS/. The European Union is finishing work on a third package of sanctions against Belarusian authorities and is set to impose the restrictions shortly, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell told a news conference after a session of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on Monday.
A source from the delegation of one of the countries in the Council said the third blacklist for Minsk would be presented next week. It is expected to include 30 to 40 individuals and legal entities of Belarus, the source said.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. Protests in Belarus continue.
As of now, the EU imposed two packages of sanctions against Minsk, affecting 55 members of the country’s leadership, including President Alexander Lukashenko. They are all banned from entering the EU, while their accounts in European banks will be frozen should any be discovered.