Dabar populiaru
Published: 22 march 2012 17:27

Lithuanian and Latvian presidents concerned with impact of EU sanctions for ordinary Belorussians

Andris Bėrzinis ir Dalia Grybauskaitė
Džojos Barysaitės nuotr. / Andris Bėrzinis ir Dalia Grybauskaitė

Presidents of Lithuania and Latvia issued a warning on Thursday, saying that sanctions taken by the European Union (EU) against Belarus must not affect ordinary people.

The Lithuanian and Latvian presidents, Dalia Grybauskaitė and Andris Berzins, made the statement at a meeting in Panevežys district a day before the EU meeting, which is expected to announce new instruments against individuals linked with the President Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

In Grybauskaitė's words, Lithuania and Latvia share the stance on the matter.

"As neighbors, we have the same worries and I do not see any disagreement between Lithuanian and Latvian positions. I know that some kind of consensus is going to be reached and I hope it will be reached finally tomorrow," she told journalists.

"We and people from our industries share the same concerns," the Lithuanian president noted.

"We all think that sanctions for the regime are necessary but ordinary people should be spared the impact," Grybauskaitė added.

The Latvian president, Berzins, emphasized that his country was working hard to develop human connections and border cooperation in Latvia's eastern Latgale region.

"Human relations, particularly in Latgale region, are close and we are doing everything to improve those relations, to activate cross-border relations in this part,” Berzins said.

“Latvian companies, particularly those in Latgale region, close to the Russian and the Belorussian border, have invested in Belarus, and if they are affected very heavily, this entails not only economic losses but also human losses for involved parties on both sides of the border,” the Latvian president noted.

On Friday, EU foreign ministers should decide on new sanctions against Belarus. According to informal reports, ministers intend to extend the “black list” of the Belorussian regime's supporters who are banned from entering the EU and whose accounts will be frozen. A possibility is also considered to restrict financial operations of some Belorussian companies.

Earlier this week, Lithuanian industrial representatives said EU economic sanctions against Belarus could have “catastrophic effects” upon Lithuanian businesses.

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