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Baltic states impose sanctions on Lukashenko

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are imposing sanctions on Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko. The punitive measures also hit dozens of other Belarusian officials. They have been linked to violence against demonstrators or fraud in the presidential election on 9 August, won by Lukashenko.

In Belarus, massive demonstrations have been going on against the election results for weeks. Many citizens think it was fraudulent to keep President Lukashenko in the saddle.

Security forces have cracked down on protesters demanding the departure of the 66-year-old leader, who has been in power for a quarter of a century.

Criticism

There is a lot of international criticism of the elections and the violence against demonstrators. The three small EU countries are now imposing travel restrictions on about 30 people. Still, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda had already warned it might not stop there.

Criminal measures are also being considered in an EU context. Lukashenko last week threatened countermeasures if countries impose sanctions on his regime.

He warned that it could be forbidden for European countries to use transit routes that run through his country. This could have consequences for trade with Russia.

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