Former PM of Lithuania says new sanctions possible

There was a debate on the situation in Belarus during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on July 9th. Former Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius said it was necessary to send “three clear signals”: to citizens of Belarus, to Lukashenka, and to themselves.

Kubilius stressed that after 26 years of authoritarian rule of Lukashenka, the Belarusian people are loudly demanding changes in their country, and they can happen on August 9. The text of the speech is quoted by

“Today is not what it used to be. Public opinion polls show that over 50% of Belarusians want real changes, and only the minority wants him to stay. People’s moods remind me of our Baltic singing revolution of the 1990s. Belarusian rock bands sing popular songs against the regime. Representatives of the cultural elite boldly make anti-regime statements on YouTube. Bloggers create real online resistance networks. They are all persecuted by the regime,” he said.

Former Prime Minister believes that the European community today should “send three clear and loud signals”:

The first one is to the citizens of Belarus. We stand in solidarity with you in your demand for change. We will defend your right to decide to become a normal European democratic country.

The second is a clear signal for Lukashenka and his nomenclature. If the opposition candidates are not registered by the authorities by July 14, next week, if political prisoners and candidates are not released from prison, if people on the streets are persecuted and intimidated, there will be sanctions, targeted sanctions.

A third signal is to ourselves. We have to stand up and defend the rights of our neighbours,” Kubilius added.

Previously, European diplomats warned the Belarusian authorities that sanctions against those involved in political persecution could be renewed due to increased repression.