Lithuania supports sanctions to Minsk officials but against economic sanctions

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Lithuania supports the EU’s plans to impose sanctions to individual Belarusian officials but not on its economy, Darius Semaska, the President Dalia Grybauskaite’s chief adviser on foreign policy, said in an interview to the Ziniu Radijas radio station on 18 January.

Referring to an interview of Edward Lucas, the Central and Eastern Europe correspondent for “The Economist” who said that EU sanctions against Belarus have been blocked by Lithuania, Latvia and Italy Semeska said Lucas “has spread another lie”.  “Sanctions should be imposed on concrete representatives of the regime who take decisions and take part in their implementation or those who take part in spreading decisions by means of propaganda and defending them,” the Presidential advisor said

“The president has clearly said that she does not support sanctions against the whole country, she is against trade embargos, any other limitations on other economic activities that would have a negative impact on Belarus people and their wellbeing. The experience shows that such sanctions usually produce an adverse effect and encourage support for the regime the sanctions are meant for,” Semeska said.

In the interview to the Baltic News Service Edward Lucas said; ‘In the EU, Lithuania and Latvia along with Italy are blocking EU sanctions on Belarus. The rest of EU can’t understand why the two or three countries that have a border with Belarus – as they see – are defending the regime. I think that is an unfair assessment and Lithuanian policies are more settled on that. But President Grybauskaite’s statement in Minsk where she seemed to be endorsing Lukashenko as the candidate she would like to win – this was regarded with horror outside Lithuania.’

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