Netherlands urges EU to «take new measures against Belarusian regime»

2010 2010-12-24T19:15:12+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The Dutch government has called on the European Union to "take new measures against the Belarusian regime," said the press office of the Dutch foreign ministry. 

On December 23, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal requested Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, "to take these new measures in the coming days and especially as long as the release of the political prisoners is still not a fact," the press office said. 

In addition, Dr. Rosenthal believes that "the EU should reintroduce the travel ban on President Lukashenko [Alyaksandr Lukashenka] and the other visa-ban listed officials," the press office said. "This would be in addition to the current financial sanctions." 

Earlier this week Dr. Rosenthal condemned the police crackdown on Sunday's post-election demonstration in Minsk and called for the immediate release of the hundreds of people, including five presidential candidates, arrested over the protest. 

On December 23, the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Sweden published a joint article in which they condemned police brutality on Sunday. 

“There can be no business-as-usual between the European Union and Belarus’ president, Aleksandr Lukashenko [Alyaksandr Lukashenka], after what has happened since the presidential election in Belarus last Sunday,” Karel Schwarzenberg, Guido Westerwelle, Radoslaw Sikorski and Carl Bildt, foreign ministers, respectively, of the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Sweden say in the article, published by the US newspaper The New York Times. 

"Continued positive engagement with Mr. Lukashenko at the moment seems to be a waste of time and money," the ministers say. "He has made his choice — and it is a choice against everything the European Union stands for." //BelaPAN