Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius intimated that Western countries could impose new sanctions against Belarus if political prisoners appear there again. This was his comment on the suppression of protests in Minsk which took place on Saturday, Delfi news portal reports.
According to Linkevičius, such actions would be detrimental to Belarus’s standing in the international community. "This will in fact affect not only internal policy where it might destabilize the situation. It will also affect further relations with the EU and all other agreements that stem from this. In fact, it would not be beneficial to Belarus as a country at all," he said.
"So it’s all up to the Belarusian authorities. Our duty is to respond in a principled and adequate manner to the situation. Unfortunately, the reaction will be sharp. If political prisoners appear there again, there will undoubtedly be a return to the issue of sanctions," the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
An unsanctioned protest took place in Minsk on Saturday, followed by a harsh response from the Belarusian security forces. People were seized right in the streets and thrown into police buses. According to human rights activists, more than 700 people were detained.