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US News Cyprus blocks Belarus sanctions: The EU suffers from the veto power of individual members

18:16  21 september  2020
18:16  21 september  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

Lithuania, Poland and Romania want a European aid plan for a "democratic Belarus"

 Lithuania, Poland and Romania want a European aid plan for a © Reuters The opposition to President Lukashenko took to the streets again this weekend for a new demonstration to contest the results of the last presidential election Vilnius, Warsaw and Bucharest on Monday ask their European partners to put in place a real European aid plan to help the opposition to set up a democratic regime in Minsk.

The European discussion about Belarus sanctions shows one thing above all: the principle of unanimity has become obsolete in punitive measures. A comment.

Zyperns Außenminister Nikos Christodoulides (2.v.r) beim Treffen mit seinen Amtskollegen am Montag in Brüssel. © Photo: dpa Cyprus' Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides (2nd from right) meeting with his counterparts in Brussels on Monday.

At a meeting with the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya, EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell said on Monday that he was "really impressed with the courage and perseverance" of the Belarusians and especially the women , who have been fighting against the election fraud of President Alexander Lukashenko for weeks demonstrate. Conversely, those Belarusians who are trying to maintain the protest these days are unlikely to be impressed by the European Union . The Community gives a weak picture when it comes to the question of whether sanctions should be imposed on Belarusian regime supporters.

Iran. Washington defies the rest of the world by proclaiming the return of UN sanctions

 Iran. Washington defies the rest of the world by proclaiming the return of UN sanctions © MIKE SEGAR / POOL / AFP "If UN member states do not fulfill their obligations to apply these sanctions, the United States is ready to use their tools to punish these failures, ”said Mike Pompéo. Washington has unilaterally proclaimed that the United Nations sanctions against Iran are back in force, since 8 p.m. Saturday, and has promised to punish those who violate them.

It was always clear that after the election fraud in August, the EU would not campaign in favor of the protest movement with the same energy as it did in Ukraine. It is therefore all the more urgent for the community to at least impose sanctions against those individuals in the Lukashenko area who are responsible for election manipulation and violence against demonstrators.

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But even this task is not up to the EU. The government of EU member Cyprus is blocking sanctions against Belarus because it wants to force the community to take a hard line against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If the accounts of Belarusian lawbreakers are frozen, it is argued in Nicosia, then, please, further penalties should also be imposed on those involved in the controversial Turkish gas wells near Cyprus.

Anti-Iran sanctions: standoff at the UN between Washington and the rest of the world

 Anti-Iran sanctions: standoff at the UN between Washington and the rest of the world © Provided by Le Point The United States will unilaterally claim this weekend that the United Nations sanctions against the Iran are again in force, a gesture that risks increasing their isolation but also international tensions. "All UN sanctions against Iran will be in effect again this weekend, at 8:00 p.m. Saturday," that is, at 00:00 GMT on Sunday, said US envoy Elliott Abrams .

Cyprus undertakes a crude blackmail attempt.

Such a link between the untenable conditions in Belarus and the gas dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean cannot be substantiated. If Nicosia insists on such a joint, it is rather a crude attempt at blackmail. On top of that, Ursula von der Leyen can feel confirmed. The head of the commission has just called for the unanimity principle to be dispensed with in matters of sanctions. Such a step would be overdue. If the EU wants to be taken as a geopolitical actor in its immediate neighborhood, it must end the veto power of individual member states.

Belarus: Emmanuel Macron offers mediation to Svetlana Tichanovskaya after meeting .
"As Europeans we will do our best to help with mediation": French President Macron spoke to Belarusian opposition politician Tichanovskaya in Lithuania and promised support. © Mindaugas Kulbis / AP For weeks there have been mass protests in Belarus . The demonstrators are demanding, among other things, the resignation of ruler Alexander Lukashenko . This is taking a hard hand against government critics, several opposition politicians have left the country, others are in custody.

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