Baltic States to impose sanctions on more Belarusian officials

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The Baltic States have agreed to introduce sanctions against another 100 individuals linked to violence in Belarus, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said in an interview to the Latvian Radio September 23.

The Minister said that an agreement was reached with Lithuania and Estonia on Wednesday: "These sanctions will be extended. That doesn't mean this will be the last of it. We are trying to analyze the information [on violence in Belarus]. The three Baltic States have agreed to continue extending the sanctions list," said Rinkēvičs.

The Minister said that only the Belarusian public can answer the question about the future of Belarus. He noted that since 9 August there have been extensive demonstrations in Belarus almost every weekend. "On working days too, a lot of protests. The other thing - unfounded, brutal beating of people... People had severe injuries. It has had a very serious impact," the Minister said.

When asked about the possibility that the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, would become closer to Russia if more sanctions were imposed against his regime, Rinkēvičs said out that it was not the first time that Minsk's rhetoric had changed. He said that the sanctions should be discussed with caution so as not to further strengthen the Russian-Belarusian merger.

Baltic States already imposed sanctions on 30 Belarusian officials at the end of August.

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