The debate continues among the EU countries on the imposition of sanctions against Minsk — after the suppression of protests in Belarus has come to blatant violations of human rights. A list of 40 people awaiting a ban on entry to the European Union, as well as the freezing of bank accounts, has already been compiled. This measure requires the consent of all EU countries, and Cyprus’ position became an obstacle. Observers agree that the situation is very confusing, but their views differ on who should be blamed.
The EU is mired in double standards
The Phileleftheros newspaper supports the position of Cypriot authorities and criticizes other EU countries:
“There are statements that if the EU does not take any measures against Belarus, the authority of the community as such will be questioned. But for some reason, the fact that no measures are taken against Turkey, the EU candidate country, which is carrying out a military invasion into one of the countries of this community, is not a threat to the authority. Nor is anyone saying that most EU countries are trying to block the imposition of sanctions against Turkey. Cyprus mostly approves the imposition of sanctions against Belarus, but at the same time openly points to the obvious: if sanctions are imposed against Belarus, then they should be imposed against Turkey as well”.
Cyprus is harming itself …
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung strongly criticized the position of Cyprus:
“The actions of the Cypriot government … make it appear as if the EU is blocked in foreign policy. Turkey will take this as an encouraging signal — and act even more decisively in the gas dispute. After all, a small country like Cyprus will only be able to defend its interests in a dispute with a much larger Turkey if a capable EU is on Cyprus’s side. Or is the resistance of Cyprus directly related to what is happening in Belarus? For many years, Cyprus has been earning on the fact that it serves as a transit point for dubious states of oligarchs and politicians from post-Soviet countries. Can Cyprus store money of Belarusian functionaries who are on the EU sanctions lists?
And von der Leyen is right!
This is real blackmail,” writes La Stampa:
“On Monday, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came to Brussels to ask the EU countries for support in the confrontation with Lukashenko’s regime… However, the foreign ministers of the 27 EU countries were unable to reach a consensus on the imposition of announced sanctions against those involved in the torture and the August 9 elections. Cyprus, protesting against the lack of sanctions against Turkey, actually took hostage the list of 40 people to be sanctioned. This is undoubted blackmail — and when did Cyprus decide on it? A few days after Ursula von der Leyn put forward a proposal to abandon the principle of unanimity in the issue of imposing foreign policy sanctions”.