Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Cyprus Blocks EU Sanctions On Belarus

22 Sep 2020, 21:15 GMT+10

European Union foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on September 21 failed to agree on sanctions against Belarus, despite a plea from the country's self-exiled opposition leader.

Cyprus has been objecting to a list of sanctions against Belarus, demanding the EU also take measures against Turkey in an unrelated dispute over Ankara's maritime gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

The impasse created by one of the bloc's smallest members has highlighted how EU diplomacy is often paralyzed by a system that gives one country veto power over all the others. The dispute will now be addressed at an EU leaders' summit on September 24-25.

'Although there is a clear will to adopt these sanctions, it has not been possible to do that today because the required unanimity was not reached,' EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters after hosting the talks.

He added that if the EU fails to impose sanctions, then 'our credibility is at stake.'

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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