EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell expressed concern about the intensification of repressive measures against human rights defenders and opposition in Belarus. This was reported by TASS on Monday, February 22.
“Repressions in Belarus are growing and intensifying, the population is intimidated, we must discuss a possible response from the European Union,” he said at a meeting in Brussels.
The issue of the situation in Belarus was not initially on the agenda of this meeting, but was brought up to it on the initiative of Borrell.
The European Union has repeatedly criticized Minsk because of the situation with protests and the use of violence against its own citizens. On October 2 last year, the European Union imposed sanctions against 40 Belarusian officials, and on November 6 – against the country's President Alexander Lukashenko.
Protest actions began in the republic after the presidential elections, which took place on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, Lukashenko won 80.23 percent of the vote. The rallies were suppressed with the use of tear gas, stun grenades, smoke bombs. Citizens complained of violence from the security forces.