EU Ministers Begin New Belarus Sanction Talks

European Union foreign ministers were in talks regarding a new round of economic and sector-specific sanctions for Belarus.

According to a tweet by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, it happened during “informal talks” of the union’s ministers on Thursday in the Portuguese city of Lisbon.

“Good to be back in Lisbon for the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers #Gymnich starting this evening & informal defence ministerial from tomorrow,” he said.

“Looking forward to our discussions,” he said in a tweet.

Borrell said that hijacking of the plane and the detention of the two passengers was “completely unacceptable.”

“We will start discussing [the] implementation of the sectorial and economic sanctions,” he added.

The meeting happened days after the EU leaders agreed to impose aviation restrictions in response to a forced landing of a passenger plane by Belarus authorities.

Several ministers said EU sanctions should target sectors that most benefit the Belarusian leadership, such as the oil and potash sectors.

“It is clear that we will not be satisfied with small sanctions steps, but that we aim to target the economic structure and financial transactions in Belarus significantly with sanctions,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Lisbon.

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