Author`s name Anton Kulikov

EU sanctions against Belarus: Surprise, Russia!

On June 23, EU permanent representatives agreed a package of economic sectoral sanctions against Belarus. One only ends to finalise a few formalities for their approval. The EU does not make a big secret out of the fact that those sanctions should also cause damage to Russia.

Sanctions against Belarus: Russia is the real target

Two days earlier, the head of European Union diplomacy Josep Borrell announced after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg that the ministers had reached general agreement in relation to economic sanctions against Belarus. They are to be finally approved at the summit of EU leaders on June 24.

It remains unknown what kind of restrictive measures will be introduced. It is believed that sectoral sanctions may affect such industries as

  • oil refining,
  • potash,
  • woodworking,
  • banking sector,
  • arms trade,
  • tobacco products.

EU sanctions currently embrace a total of 166 people and 15 Belarusian organizations are under EU restrictive measures. It goes about only EU sanctions here — the US ones are a different story.

What's on the mind of the European bureaucrats that's on the tongue of Lithuanian minister

At the same time, the European Union makes no secret of the fact that the coming sectoral sanctions may indirectly affect Russia. It just so happens that direct sanctions against Belarus may directly affect Russia too. Russian officials have repeatedly stated that Russia would not leave Belarus alone if the West decides to tighten sanctions against the brotherly republic.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis opened his heart in an interview with BNS agency. According to him, the burden of EU sanctions against Belarus will partly affect Russia too.

"The secondary effect of the sanctions is that the losses of the Belarusian regime must be refinanced and only Russia can do this. Thus, introducing sanctions, the EU and Lithuania are placing some of them on Russia, which can affect Belarus," he said.

At the same time, according to him, EU sanctions on the Belarusian fertilizer sector will be introduced gradually.

The sanctions will affect Lithuania too as most of fertiliser exports from Belarus goes via Lithuanian ports. This accounts for tens of millions of euros per year. It appears that Lithuanian politicians are comforted by the thought about expenses that Russia will have to incur because of the EU sanctions against Belarus.