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Latvia backs new EU 'restrictive measures' against Lukashenko regime

On 21 June 2021 in Luxembourg, the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council gathered for a meeting at which the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers discussed the developments in Belarus, among other topics.

"Latvia fully supports the decision of the European Union to adopt a new package of restrictive measures against the Lukashenko regime related to the unlawful forced landing of a Ryanair plane and the government’s repression of the opposition, noted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs. He also noted that the sanctions are not aimed at Belarusian people but instead target the regime of Alexander Lukashenko and his officials. It is vital to preserve unity also concerning sector-specific restrictive measures. The broad range of sector-specific sanctions is sending a strong signal to Lukashenko and to both Belarusian and EU society, Edgars Rinkēvičs said in his remarks to the Council," a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council was preceded by an informal meeting with the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Edgars Rinkēvičs said he was certain that Belarusian society can count on unwavering support from Latvia in the fight for the compliance with democratic freedoms and human rights.

"The resilience of the Belarusian society and its ability to preserve fighting spirit under the conditions of increasing authoritarianism deserves the greatest respect. Therefore, it is essential that Belarusian civilian forces consider prospective reforms and work to do, so that they could build a new democratic, lawful and prosperous Belarus after Lukashenko leaves," said the MFA statement. 

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