Belarus FM accuses EU envoys of posting anti-govt info, participating in protests

A number of diplomats representing EU member states spread anti-government information in Belarus, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey said during Thursday’s session of the CIS Council of Permanent Plenipotentiaries in statutory and other CIS bodies.

“We now see that some ambassadors representing the European Union are posting anti-government information. We are not yet responding to these facts, but we are monitoring them. Rest assured that we will give a very specific, substantive and rigorous response to this <…> If an ambassador takes a clear line against the authorities of the host country then such an ambassador is not fit for the job,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the minister.

According to him, diplomatic personnel must work for the rapprochement of countries and peoples instead of alienating them. Again, Uladzimir Makey accused Western partners of ‘interference in domestic affairs’ and ‘attempts to impose democracy’. He claimed that representatives of the diplomatic institutions accredited in Belarus had called for participation in protest rallies and showed up at such events themselves.

The Belarusian authorities are going to provide an appropriate response to the situation in the near future, Makey added.

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In early October, the European Union leaders agreed to impose sanctions on more than 40 Belarusian officials over the vote rigging and post-election police violence in the country. However, the name of Alyaksandr Lukashenka was not added to the sanctions list at that moment. It included senior police and election officials, e.g. Interior Minister Yury Karayeu, Public Security Police Chief Alyaksandr Barsukou, Dzmitry Balaba, Commander of the Special Purpose Police Unit of Minsk (OMON), Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, Valery Vakulchyk, ex-Head of the State Security Committee (KGB), and others. Yet later, the Council of the European Union added 15 members of the Belarusian authorities, including Lukashenka ршьыуда, as well as his son and national security adviser Viktar Lukashenka, to the list of individuals sanctioned in relation to the violent repression and intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, opposition members and journalists after the 2020 presidential election in Belarus.

In late November, MEPs passed a resolution on ‘the continuous violations of human rights in Belarus, in particular the murder of Raman Bandarenka’. The text was adopted by 613 votes in favour, 41 against and 35 abstentions. In the resolution, MEPs also highlighted that actions taken so far by the EU and the member states against the Lukashenka regime were ‘insufficient’. After the Council of the European Union approved the third package of sanctions against Lukashenka regime in December, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry criticised the European partners’ stance, announced limiting the activities of some political foundations in Belarus and reviewing their humanitarian, educational, cultural programs in the country, including those offered by foreign states’ embassies.

‘Belarusians expect West to be braver and stronger’. Tsikhanouskaya counts on tougher sanctions, following BelTA