This statement was made by a source in the president’s administration in the interview to Interfax-West news agency. This seems to be the answer to the recent statements by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Catherine Ashton.
She said the following at the European Parliament’s session in Strasbourg on May 11:
“President Lukashenka didn’t manage to use the presidential election of last December to show his willingness for changes and creation of a more open and democratic European society. Not only hadn’t he make use of this opportunity, but also used violence against peaceful demonstrators and increased the number of political prisoners, demonstrating his disregard for democracy and the rule of law.”
According to her, the leader of the Belarusian state “didn’t leave us any other option except to introduce tough sanctions directed against the regime’s officers responsible for the repressions, including president Lukashenka himself.”
In addition, the European Union should also increase the support of the Belarusian civil society, and intensify the contacts between people, said Catherine Ashton.
“The Belarusian side takes the statements about the sanctions calmly; we are working on several measures in return. The complex plan of possible measures provides, among other things, for the prohibition of leaving of the state borders for a range of representatives of the Belarusian opposition that were the most active among those who called and continues to call on the EU authorities for the introduction of economic sanctions against the Belarusian people”, states the source from the president’s administration.
According to this source, the preliminary list already includes as much as 200 persons: “These persons will be prohibited to leave the country, including through Russia’s territory, taking into account the formation of the single migration policy of both countries.”
Moreover, “the Belarusian authorities are also ready to use mass media for the explanation of the motives of these responsive measures to the general Belarusian public, including the presentation of concrete facts of the corresponding actions by oppositionists directed at deteriorating the social and economic situation in the country, and at decreasing the well-being of the Belarusian people.”
The administration’s officer didn’t exclude that “some ambassadors of EU states to Belarus could be asked to leave the borders of the country; this concerns those ambassadors who – instead of developing mutually respectful and friendly relations with the host country – have consistently imposed upon the governments of their states the implementation of an anti-Belarusian policy.”
The interesting fact is that Ales Lahviniec, political analyst and advisor to the leader of the Movement For Freedom (MFF) Alaksandr Milinkevich, predicted the probability of such developments back in February.
After the OSCE Office in Minsk was closed, he tried to guess what other actions could be made by Belarusian authorities.
“The authorities could find fault with the quantity of personnel of several embassies, as was previously the case with the US embassy”, supposed Lahviniec. In particular, this could concern Polish and German embassies that may have more employees than the staff of Belarusian diplomatic missions in Berlin and Warsaw. In fact, as was reported before, Lukashenka accused Poland and Germany of preparing the coup on December 19.
Back then, Lahviniec also supposed that a list of Belarusian politicians restricted to travel abroad could be created, though, as he said, such steps would be a “real war”.