Washington will announce within days a package of sanctions against Belarus

The United States confirmed Friday that it will announce within a few days a new package of sanctions targeting Belarusian personalities and entities, in coordination with the European Union.

“Within a few days, we will be able to put together a list of additional sanctions that we will impose in parallel with those taken by the European Union,” said US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Begin.

Begin, who spoke to reporters by phone, said that Moscow was exposing itself to great risks in supporting the suppression of a massive popular protest movement against the re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

“If the Kremlin continues on this path, it may find that the Belarusian people, who have no blame on Russia, will stand up to Moscow,” he said.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Tuesday.

Pompeo indicated that he was “deeply concerned about the information received regarding the kidnapping and attempt to deport opposition leaders in Belarus by force” out of the country.

European Council President Charles Michel urged on Wednesday the 27 member states of the European Union to “accelerate” the passage of sanctions against Belarus, while Cyprus blocked new European measures against Minsk.

European foreign ministers agreed in August to impose sanctions targeting those responsible for the crackdown on the protest movement against Lukashenko. 

The Council of the European Union has drawn up a list of persons who will be denied entry and whose accounts will be frozen. Diplomatic sources said that the list currently includes about 40 names.