Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 133

The European Union handed over to the Belarusan government on July 10 a list of 130 Belarusan official posts whose holders are banned from entering European Union countries. The posts, starting with that of the president of Belarus, encompass the entire governmental (including diplomatic) and parliamentary hierarchy. The European Union expects other countries to join in the ban. The United States and several other countries seem poised to follow suit. However, Belarus’ neighbors Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine are disinclined to burn the bridges because they have a host of legal, trade and border protection issues to settle with Belarus. Russia, for its part, has no quarrel with its ally President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The Western measure retaliates against Lukashenka’s violation of international diplomatic conventions in evicting foreign envoys from their Minsk residences. Presidential administration chief Mikhail Myasnikovich, however, countered that the West is punishing Lukashenka for his “resistance to the dismemberment of the USSR” and his Union with Russia. The July 10 announcement of the Western quarantine coincided with the fourth anniversary of Lukashenka’s election as president. (Belapan, Itar-Tass, ORT, July 10 and 11)