Belarus-European Union

EU broadens scope for sanctions' against Lukashenka regime to tackle hybrid attacks, instrumentalisation of migrants
On November 15, the Council of the EU amended its sanctions regime against the Belarusian authorities in view of the situation at the EU’s border with Belarus, so as to be able to respond to the instrumentalisation of human beings carried out by the Belarus regime for political purposes, the press service reports.
‘Hybrid attack, not migration crisis’: Biden, von der Leyen discuss sanctions against airlines carrying migrants to Minsk
On November 10, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden had a meeting in the White House; the top EU official called it ‘very productive’ on Twitter.
Minsk: Diplomats lay flowers at Stalin-era mass grave site, pro-Lukashenka journos impede
On October 29, Western diplomats came to Kurapaty, a place on the outskirts of Minsk, and laid flower tributes to the victims of Stalinist repressions. Employees of pro-Lukashenka TV stations Belarus 1, ONT, STV unexpectedly arrived at the scene and started to act in a rather off-hand way, trying to thwart the memorial event.
Lukashenka as ‘head of state smuggling company’: EU may impose stricter sanctions on Belarus airline amid migration crisis
EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs are meeting on Monday in Luxembourg. Today’s Foreign Affairs Council is chaired by Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Among others, the participants are expected to discuss the Belarusian issue; according to Borrell, the Eastern Partnership ‘continues being troubled by Belarus’.
Fifth sanctions package against Lukashenka regime might be ready in November – EU source
The fifth sanctions package against the Lukashenka regime might be ready in november, Brussels-based RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak said on Twitter.
Irregular migrants’ flow from Belarus growing: Poland reports attempt to force way through border
On Monday, Lithuanian border guards barred 121 migrants from illegally crossing the Belarus-EU border. Over the past week, their Polish counterparts have been reporting over 500 prevented attempts to illegally cross the border per day.
Foreign Policy: Russia, Belarus using migrants as weapon against EU
The worst-case scenario has not yet started to be realized: thousands of refugees from Afghanistan might be transported to the borders of the European Union via Russia. The influential US magazine Foreign Policy published a think piece about the migration crisis at the Belarus-EU borders, where thousands of citizens of Asia and Africa are trying to illegally make it to EU member countries.
‘Let's call it what it is’: Ursula von der Leyen considers Belarus regime’s actions as ‘hybrid attack to destabilise Europe’
On September 14, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered the State of the European Union (SOTEU) address before the European Parliament, taking stock of the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. The speech was followed by a plenary debate with MEPs.
Fitch withdraws ratings for Belarusbank, Belinvestbank in light of sanctions
US credit rating agency Fitch has withdrawn the ratings for Belarusian banks Belarusbank (BBK) and Belinvestbank (BIB) on the back of the sanctions imposed on the bank sector of the Lukashenka regime.
Visa restrictions will not affect ordinary Belarusians, European Commissioner explained
“This will not affect the people of Belarus, who will continue to benefit from the agreement, including low visa fees.”
Lithuanian FM: ‘Using migration as weapon against EU is even more cynical than hijacking Ryanair plane’
Lithuania calls for new sanctions against Lukashenka regime over its contributing to irregular migration to the European Union.
US, ten European countries call for new sanctions against Lukashenka regime over fostering illegal migration
Rihards Kols, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Latvia’s parliament, posted on Twitter a joint statement by representatives of the foreign affairs committees of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, France, the Czech Republic, Estonia.
EEAS spokesman Peter Stano about Belarus authorities’ recent actions: ‘Disregard for commitments within UN, OSCE’
Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for the European External Action Service, commented on another wave of persecuting journalists and activists in Belarus, citing Reporters Without Borders.