The European countries have not agreed on sanctions against Belarus because one member state is obstructing. Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs was ‘very disappointed’at the end of the talks.
In order to impose sanctions, all EU countries must agree: all 27 member states must agree. Cyprus is blocking sanctions against Belarus as long as the EU does not take similar steps against Turkey.
This is’ not a good day for the EU’, said minister Blok at his press conference. The fact that there is only one obstructive ‘does not lessen the disappointment for me’, says Blok. “It should have been today.”
Block also pointed out that the Netherlands has been to advocate the member states no longer have a veto over the imposition of sanctions. The Second Chamber also rejected Cyprus’s position. D66 MEP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma talks about a’scandalous blockade that paralyses the EU’.
Behind the scenes there is a lot of frustration about Cyprus’s position. The country has a long-standing conflict with Turkey. Tensions have recently increased: according to Cyprus and Greece, Turkey is illegally drilling for gas and oil in their waters.
The heads of state and government have to deal with it later this week, said EU foreign minister Josep Borrell at a press conference. Just last week, Borrell said that, in order not to lose credibility, the EU had to get out before the EU summit, which begins on Thursday.
He received opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya earlier in the morning, who reiterated the need for punitive measures to halt the crackdown on the protest movement by incumbent president Aleksandr Lukashenko.