World Belarus opposition leader asks for more U.S. sanctions
Lithuania's President Calls Belarus' Stance on Migration 'Revenge' for EU Sanctions
Lithuania's growing dispute with Belarus caused Lithuania to build a fence along the border.Lithuania recently declared a state of emergency because of the surge of migrants from Belarus. This past Friday, Lithuania started building a double barbed-wire fence Friday along the Belarus border that will run for 342 miles and cover most of the 423-mile border, at a cost of $48 million, according to Lithuanian authorities. The country has also set up tents to accommodate the growing number of migrants.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Tuesday that she had asked U.S. officials to impose sanctions on companies in her country's potash, oil, wood and steel sectors, as she visited Washington seeking stronger action against President Alexander Lukashenko's government.
Tsikhanouskaya said she delivered a list of enterprises the opposition would like to see sanctioned, in addition to existing U.S. sanctions on Lukashenko's political allies and government bodies, during a meeting with State Department officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday. Her requests included the state-owned Belaruskali producer of potash fertilizer.
Lithuania passes laws to curb migrant arrivals from Belarus
VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania’s parliament on Tuesday passed new legislation aimed at curbing an influx of migrants crossing its borders that it accused neighboring Belarus of orchestrating. In an 84-1 vote with 58 abstentions, the 141-seat Seimas passed the amendments that include a fast-track procedure enabling the speedier deportation of migrants and slashing the processing time of asylum applications from as many as several months to 10 days. The amendments, which also prevent the free movement of migrants and restrict their rights were strongly criticized by human rights groups.
Such measures would go beyond existing sanctions by the European Union and the United States and “will be a real hit on him, to make him change his behavior and to release political prisoners," she said in a meeting with reporters in Washington.
Tsikhanouskaya, 38, was a candidate in an election last August that Lukashenko's opponents say was rigged so that he could retain power.
Her husband, Sergei Tsikhanouskiy, is a video blogger who has been jailed since May 2020 on charges such as violating public order, which he denies. Tsikhanouskaya fled to neighboring Lithuania after Lukashenko's crackdown following the election.
She called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop supporting Lukashenko.
"The relationship of Russia and Belarus at the moment is so close that the next step is loss of independence," she said. "We understand that Lukashenko has to pay for the support of the Kremlin."
Tsikhanouskaya will visit the White House and Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Giles Elgood)
China Backs Cuba in Saying US Should Apply Sanctions To Itself .
"The U.S. should first and foremost examine its own human rights issues, instead of wielding the big stick of sanctions, grossly interfering in other's internal affairs and creating division or confrontation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.Speaking Friday at a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asserted that his country "firmly supports the efforts of the Cuban government and people to maintain social stability" as President Joe Biden doubles down to pressure Cuba in the wake of historic protests in the island nation.