After nearly ten hours of negotiations, EU leaders managed to finally agree to imposing sanctions on around forty individuals. The EU’s sanction list does not include Alexander Lukoshenko, unlike the UK and Canada lists. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that she was very happy that they had finally reached a way forward. Up until this evening Cyprus had blocked the needed unanimity because of what they saw as a failure to support sanctions on Turkey, this question will be revisited in December. In their conclusions the European Council condemned the unacceptable violence by Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters, as well as intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions following the presidential elections.
The European Council called on the Belarusian authorities to end violence and repression, release all detainees and political prisoners, respect media freedom and civil society, and start an inclusive national dialogue, possibly involving the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). The Council also encouraged the European Commission to prepare a comprehensive plan of economic support for democratic Belarus and reiterated the importance of ensuring safety at the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, Ostrovets.