EU threatens sanctions to Belarusian companies
The European Union may extend sanctions against Belarus. Previously, these were only personal sanctions but now they are talking about companies that “finance President Alexander Lukashenko.” New sanctions may be ready in the coming weeks.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu was the one who called on the EU to impose such sanctions. He considers the murder of Roman Bondarenko to be the reason for this. According to the diplomat, this person “died as a result of the brutal actions of the Belarusian security forces”.
The first package of EU sanctions was adopted on October 2. The EU has published a list of 40 Belarusian officials, security officials and Central Election Commission members who were subject to personal sanctions, including a ban on entry into the EU and freezing assets within the jurisdiction. Lukashenko was not included in the first sanctions list, “since this would undermine the demand of Brussels to start a dialogue with the opposition through the mediation of the OSCE and to release political prisoners.”
However, on November 6, the second package of sanctions was adopted. The European Union imposed sanctions against Lukashenko and 14 high-ranking officials.
On November 17, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced that the country, in response to the decision of the EU Council, is mirroring its reciprocal sanctions list for each of the EU countries and for Canada. The same evening, after a meeting with Lukashenko, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that Belarus is lowering the level of participation in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program to an expert level due to “attempts to politicize a number of projects.”
The EU replied that it had already frozen and lowered the level of all types of dialogue with Belarus even earlier. Minsk should have taken steps to resume dialogue instead of continuing to aggravate the situation. This was stated by the official representative of the EU foreign policy service Peter Stano.
The EU does not recognize the results of the August 9 presidential elections in Belarus and does not consider Lukashenko “a legitimate representative of the people of Belarus.” At the same time, Stano stressed that the EU intends to continue “to maintain a dialogue with the civil society of the country, to provide assistance to NGOs.”
The doctor who disclosed the results of the medical examination of Roman Bondarenko was detained
A criminal case was opened against a doctor at the Minsk Emergency Medical Hospital, who reported to the media the results of a medical examination of Roman Bondarenko, who died after being arrested in the “Courtyard of Change”.
“Acting deliberately, without service exigency, the suspect entered into a criminal conspiracy with a representative of the Internet resource (tut.by), who was informed about the results of the medical examination of Roman Bondarenko. Thus, he divulged medical confidentiality,” the General Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
The doctor and journalist of the tut.by portal Katerina Borisevich, who interviewed him, were detained in the KGB pre-trial detention center on the grounds of a crime under the article of the Criminal Code on divulging medical confidentiality.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the actions of the suspects “entailed grave consequences expressed in increased tensions in society, creating an atmosphere of mistrust in the competent state bodies, encouraging citizens to aggression and illegal actions.”
Roman Bondarenko died at the emergency hospital on November 12. He was taken there in a coma from the police station after being detained in the courtyard of his house. He died from the injuries inflicted on him. The police said that Bondarenko was drunk, but the hospital doctors presented evidence that he was completely sober.
KGB added the creator of NEXTA to the list of persons involved in terrorism
The KGB of Belarus has updated its list of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities. Now the names of the creator of the NEXTA project and its former editor-in-chief have appeared in it. Stepan Putilo and Roman Protasevich are on the list right after the Islamist extremists.
They are so far the only members of the list from Belarus. All the rest are people usually with Arabic or Korean names.
Earlier, Putilo and Protasevich were accused under two articles of the Criminal Code of organizing mass riots and group actions that grossly violate public order, and of committing deliberate actions aimed at inciting social enmity on the basis of professional affiliation, concerning government officials and law enforcement officers.
NEXTA is the most famous Belarusian opposition resource, which gained massive popularity amid protests against the results of the 2020 presidential elections in the country. It has over 4 million subscribers on all social networks, of which more than 530 thousand are on YouTube and over 2.7 million are on Telegram channels. It became famous for informing Belarusians about the action in protests and trying to guide the marches of protesters. The NEXTA office is located in Warsaw.
Reuters named the candidates for the photo of the year. Among them are two pictures from the protests in Belarus
Reuters has published 100 images, one of which could be the photo of the year. The topics of these pictures are the explosion in Beirut, unrest in the United States, Trump’s election campaign, the coronavirus pandemic, protests in Thailand and Belarus, etc.
The footage from Minsk was taken on August 9 and 14 by reporter Vasily Fedosenko. The Belarusian photographer has been working for Reuters for many years. This year, during the protests, he lost his accreditation from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, like all foreign journalists.
Belarus 2020 is a paradise for photographers. Every Sunday, for more than 100 days, the streets of Minsk and other cities are filled with tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of beautiful people who go out to peaceful protests, wishing a new free future for their country. People come out with flowers, white-red-white flags and creative banners. Saturday women’s marches looked especially beautiful until they became not so numerous after the security forces moved on to tough measures to disperse them.