Asked whether the Belarus president will be hit by a travel ban and asset freeze, Petricek said he believes that “Lukashenko should be on the list. The question is whether in the first stage, or a later stage if there is no progress.”
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius agreed that Lukashenko should be on the list now, but he acknowledged that there may be “tactical reasons” to keep the Belarus leader off. Lithuania had tabled its own list of 118 officials.
Some countries prefer a gradual approach that would ratchet up pressure by adding more names progressively if Lukashenko failed to enter into talks with the opposition.
Greece and Cyprus are also believed to be demanding that sanctions be slapped on Turkey for what they say is its illegal energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean before the two countries agree to the measures against Belarus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday that he stands ready to send police to Belarus if protests there turn violent, but sees no such need yet.
Linkevicius said that “we cannot exclude this invasion,” and that the EU must also send a clear warning to Russia.
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