Gitanas Nausėda President of Lithuania in Brussels to discuss Belarus, Turkey sanctions
EU leaders’ two-day meeting kicks off in Brussels on Tuesday
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday expressed hope that the EU countries will be able to agree on the introduction of sanctions against Belarus during the summit in Brussels.
“I look forward to [the summit] and very much hope that today we will find a principled decision on the introduction of sanctions against Belarus,” he told reporters.
“It is inappropriate that there is no reaction [from the EU],” added Nauseda.
The two-day summit of the leaders of the European Union began on Tuesday at 14.00.
Diplomats believe EU inaction threatens the bloc’s reputation, while the UK and Canada have already imposed sanctions on Minsk to support the pro-democracy movement in Belarus.
The draft conclusions of the summit say that the European Union condemns violence against peaceful demonstrators and does not recognize the results of the recent elections in Belarus. It is also noted that it is necessary to immediately introduce “restrictive measures”.
Meanwhile, Cyprus continues to resist, insisting that the EU also impose sanctions on Turkey in connection with a dispute over drilling rights in the Mediterranean..
In a statement to mark the 60th anniversary of Cyprus’ independence from Britain, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades accused Turkey of conducting “gunboat diplomacy” and invading the Cyprus offshore.
“I expect a more concrete and effective position from the European Council summit to end this power diplomacy,” he said ahead of the summit..
Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to all EU leaders, except Greece and Cyprus, demanding fair treatment of Ankara and accusing Athens and Nicosia of escalating tensions in the disputed Mediterranean waters..
There is no agreed position on Turkey in the draft statement of the summit participants.
France takes a tougher stance on Turkey, while Germany insists on dialogue between Ankara and Athens.
Hungary also fears provoking the anger of Turkey, which, in accordance with the migration agreement with the EU, hosts millions of Syrians on its territory..
European diplomats believe that the summit participants could promise Cyprus to impose sanctions on Turkey in the future, threatening Ankara with retaliation if it does not stop drilling in the disputed waters, but without giving Nicosia guarantees.
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