Updated at 14:54,16-10-2020

Expanding the EU “black list“: self comes first?


Another 21 Belarusian official were included in the list of persons subject to visa and financial sanctions of the EU. The decision was made on 27 February in Brussels at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU, the press service of the EU Council told BelaPAN.

The list was expanded at the expense of representatives of judiciary and law enforcement agencies, who are accused of repressions against the opposition.

Belarusian opposition leaders have expressed frustration in regard to both: the relatively small "appendage" to the "list of banned entry", and the absence of the well-known businessman Yuri Chizh in this list.

Co-chairman of the organizing committee of the BCD Vital Rymasheuski considers yesterday's decision of the Council of the EU as the "symbolic gesture", recalling that previously the significant expansion of the list was announced.

In his opinion, this was prevented by lobbyists of the regime among the Belarusian opposition, and in the European structures.

"Adoption of this decision means the EU's inability to impose serious sanctions today", Rymasheuski summarizes.

His regret at the absence of Chizh and other "businessmen close to power" in the extended list stated the deputy chairman of the United Civil Party Lev Margolin.

The politician would like to see more serious actions and decisions by the EU, but "the good is that we at least are not forgotten. Politics - it's still the art of what is possible".

Economic interests, which are placed in the first place, prevent Europe to take more serious measures against the Belarusian authorities, the deputy chairman of the Party "A Just World" Valery Uhnalou suggests, describing the approach of European officials by the saying "self comes first".

"First of all they think about their own problems. And fight for democracy in Belarus, only when the sanctions don't harm them directly: when a judge, for example, made ​​an unjust and illegal sentence, and you can just ban him from entry", Uhnalou told UDF.BY. "When the economic interests involved, the self-interest is placed at the forefront".

This EU's politics the politician, however, considers as natural and emphasizes that no one but the Belarusians themselves, won't solve the problem of democracy in the country.

"Only we can change the existing regime. And hope that someone will come from abroad and do it - makes no sense", Valery Uhnalou thinks.