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The tone has been sharpened against Belarus – new sanctions packages are being dealt with today

More Belarusians should be stopped and new measures rejected. On Monday, the European Union is expected to increase its rhetoric against Belarus after migrant pressures at the border with Poland.

The package of sanctions now on the table has already led Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to do so Threatens to restrict gas supplies to Europe on Thursday.

– For Russia, the export of gas to Europe is very important. Putin made it clear that if Lukashenko did this, it would be a breach of contract. SVT’s European correspondent, David Poiti, says Putin is holding on tight there.

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– Forcing migrants across the border into the European Union is a new phenomenon, says SVT European correspondent David Poiti.

New names under negotiation

Officially, no new sanctions have been imposed at the moment. However, a clear indication must be given for further expansion of the list of persons, companies and organizations whose potential assets in the EU will be frozen, and visas to the EU will not be granted. The number of new names has been recently negotiated, but is expected to reach at least 20 when the decision can be formally made in a few weeks.

At the same time, the ministers must also agree that the use of immigrants in the future may be the basis for sanctions against Belarus. Once this is done, work can begin to produce more names for the lists, for example on airlines, tour companies or people who helped bring migrants to the borders with EU countries.

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Ethiopia and the East

In addition to Belarus, the foreign ministers also have a number of other crisis areas to deal with on Monday. The situation in Ethiopia will be discussed, including the desire to start preparing for the sanctions, as well as the situation in Mali, Sudan and the Western Balkan countries.

In the afternoon, the foreign ministers of the former Soviet republics will also join the Eastern Partnerships of the European Union: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Officially, Belarus remains part of the partnership – despite EU criticism of last year’s presidential election, it chose not to participate actively.

“strategic compass”

Monday’s meeting will then end with a working dinner in which EU defense ministers will discuss the “strategic compass” proposal drawn up by Foreign Minister Josep Borrell.

The idea is to agree during the winter on what the EU should invest in security policy, for example to combat hybrid and cyber attacks and the ability to make appropriate efforts, including the military.

Someone will say this is a lot, and someone will say that it is not enough. But we must discuss what ambitions we should have, Borrell said in a review for TT and a group of other Brussels correspondents.