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World Belarus opposition chief to meet EU ministers

11:45  21 september  2020
11:45  21 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

Russia Eyes East and West Border Threats, Looks to China for Closer Ties

  Russia Eyes East and West Border Threats, Looks to China for Closer Ties "China and Russia are united like a mountain, and their friendship is unbreakable," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.As Russian airborne forces in Belarus conducted joint live-fire exercises Thursday along the western border of the restive Eastern European country, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko informed U.S. ambassador John Sullivan of "the unacceptability of any interference in the internal affairs, destabilization attempts and the imposition of unilateral mediation services," in a telephone conversation that touched upon Belarus' disputed vote and the territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya holds talks with EU foreign ministers Monday as they prepare sanctions against the Minsk regime over election rigging and a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. The former Soviet republic has been convulsed by unprecedented

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya holds talks with EU foreign ministers Monday as they prepare sanctions against the Minsk regime over election rigging and a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya holds talks with EU foreign ministers Monday as they prepare sanctions against the Minsk regime over election rigging and a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

The former Soviet republic has been convulsed by unprecedented demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko since he was returned to power in the disputed August 9 election.

The EU and other Western powers have rejected the result, saying the poll was not free and fair, and Brussels is set to hit members of Lukashenko's regime with asset freezes and travel bans.

Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest

  Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest Riot police on Saturday detained hundreds of women, dragging many into vans, as opposition protesters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. Police blocked the women and began pulling them into police vans as they stood with linked hands, swiftly detaining hundreds, an AFP journalist saw. Police lifted some women off their feet in order to remove them.Around two thousand women took part in the "Sparkly March", wearing shiny accessories and carrying red-and-white flags of the protest movement.

BRUSSELS - European foreign ministers welcomed Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to Brussels on Monday as they prepare EU "She gave us an account of the events in Belarus ," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters, after a breakfast meeting with

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya holds talks with EU foreign ministers Monday as they prepare sanctions against the Minsk regime over election rigging and a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. FRANCE 24's Dave Keating tells us more.

a group of people in front of a television: Tikhanovskaya made a video appearance at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday © Fabrice COFFRINI Tikhanovskaya made a video appearance at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday

Strongman Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for more than quarter of a century, has responded to the protests with a violent security clampdown and turned to his longstanding ally Russia for help.

Tikhanovskaya, who stood against Lukashenko and fled to Lithuania for her own safety after the election, will hold a breakfast meeting with the 27 EU foreign ministers and the bloc's diplomatic chief Josep Borrell.

She is expected to brief the ministers while hearing from them the EU's expectations of the Belarus opposition.

Afterwards the ministers will go into formal talks about Belarus -- including on sanctions -- and also debate the situation in Libya, plus tensions with Turkey.

Belarus opposition to march after police crackdown

  Belarus opposition to march after police crackdown Belarusian authorities on Sunday brought military trucks and barbed wire into central Minsk ahead of a planned opposition march, a day after police detained hundreds of women demonstrators. Belarusian opposition news sites posted video and photos of a convoy of military trucks and vehicles with rolls of barbed wire driving into the centre ahead of the demonstration. The protest comes after riot police cracked down on peaceful women demonstrators on Saturday who were wearing shiny accessories for their so-called "Sparkly March."They dragged protesters into vans, lifted some women off their feet and carried them.

Lithuania and Latvia and top EU chief Josep Borrel condemned the move. Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikanouskaya also failed to sway the island Cyprus vetoed attempts by EU foreign ministers to impose sanctions against some 40 Belarusian officials, including Alexander Lukashenko.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is expected to address the meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday in Brussels.During the meeting , the EU foreign ministers will discuss the issue of personalized sanctions against Belarusian officials.

The EU has rejected the result of the August 9 vote and a senior official said the ministers would discuss whether to call for new elections, warning that matters were rapidly getting worse.

"What we're seeing now is a clear deterioration of the situation -- we have more repression, more people arrested, more forced into exile," the official said.

Related Slideshow: Belarus protests (Provided by Photo Services)

Gallery

The ministers will also consider what finance could be given to civil society in Belarus, after Poland called for a billion-euro stabilisation fund to help the country.

UK prepares sanctions for human rights violations in Belarus

  UK prepares sanctions for human rights violations in Belarus The UK is preparing sanctions for human rights violations in Belarus, the foreign secretary has said. © Reuters Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in this week as leader despite national protests. Speaking in the House of Commons, Dominic Raab said Alexander Lukashenko, who was sworn in this week as president in a secret ceremony, has "a wholesale lack of legitimacy".Mr Raab said Britain does not accept the results of the rigged election and condemned the "thuggery" imposed on protesters in Belarus.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's call came after Russian President Vladimir Putin backed Lukashenko and promised a $1.5 billion loan.

- Sanctions -

Tikhanovskaya's meeting with EU ministers, followed by an appearance at the European Parliament, is part of her effort to maintain international pressure on Lukashenko as he clings to power.

On Friday she urged the international community to respond to abuses in Belarus "in the strongest terms" in a video appearance at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that was repeatedly interrupted by the Belarusian ambassador.

The EU has a list of around 40 Belarusian officials it holds responsible for rigging the vote or the subsequent protest crackdown, who are to be sanctioned.

Final approval has been held up, partly by horse-trading among EU member states -- diplomats say Cyprus in particular has been holding out while seeking sanctions on Turkey in a separate dispute.

But the EU is seeking to calibrate its response, wary of taking too strong a line and thereby driving Lukashenko further into the arms of the Kremlin.

The sanctions look set to be passed up to EU heads of state and government who meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

The summit will also address relations with Turkey after a summer of high tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, where drilling rights and maritime border disputes between Ankara and EU members Greece and Cyprus have teetered on the brink of conflict.


Video: Thousands march in Minsk as anti-government protests continue (AFP)

Can Foreign Powers Help the Belarus Prodemocracy Movement Without Undermining It?

  Can Foreign Powers Help the Belarus Prodemocracy Movement Without Undermining It? For autocratic leaders like Alexander Lukashenko, outside sympathy is akin to intervention.“We have managed to take steps to anticipate and thwart a major plan to destabilize Belarus,” the longtime president said in the run-up to last month’s disputed elections. “The masks have been ripped off the puppets we have here and the puppet masters, who are sitting beyond Belarus’s borders.

Macron calls for 'peaceful transition' in Belarus .
The French president promises to help mediate in the country following weeks of political unrest.He called for a "peaceful transition" in the country after he met the exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Lithuania on Tuesday.

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