Committees on European Affairs and on Foreign Affairs adopted a joint statement calling for opposition to the easement of sanctions imposed on Belarus
Press release, 23 March 2023
At a joint meeting held on 22 March 2023 to discuss the positions of the Republic of Lithuania ahead of the European Council meeting on 23–24 March, the Committee on European Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs decided to strongly oppose any compromise that would ease the sanctions previously imposed on Belarus and leave room for derogations in relation to Belarusian fertiliser oligarchs or companies.
‘We urge the European Council meeting to reject the new sanctions package against Belarus, as long as the package contains derogation on sanctioned individuals and companies involved in the trade of Belarusian fertilisers,’ said Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Chair of the Committee on European Affairs.
In the adopted joint statement, which has been circulated to the Parliaments of the EU Member States, the Council of Europe, and the President of the European Parliament, the Committees call for support to the position of the Republic of Lithuania by refraining to endorse the new sanctions package against Belarus as long as the package contains a derogation in relation to sanctioned persons and companies engaged in the global trade in agricultural and food products, including fertilisers. The statement underlines that this derogation would significantly ease the EU sanctions imposed on the Belarusian regime for violations of human rights, restore a major source of revenue for the Belarusian regime, and exert considerable pressure on the State of Lithuania, which, in the interests of national security, cannot allow the transit of Belarusian fertilisers to third countries through its sovereign territory.
The Chair of the Committee on European Affairs stressed the need to emphasise, at the European Council meeting, the opposition to the compromise that would leave room for derogations in relation to Belarusian fertiliser oligarchs, even if inclusion of an exemption on national security grounds were proposed.
‘While the International Criminal Court issued an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on 17 March 2023, it is truly absurd for democracies to talk about easing the EU sanctions against the regimes of the war criminal and his accomplice Lukashenko. Therefore, it is essential to initiate negotiations on lifting all the exemptions or derogations in the EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus,’ said Giedrius Surplys, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Follow the link to the text of the statement in English.
Martynas Lukoševičius, Adviser, Office of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, tel. +370 5 239 6881