Estonia has single-handedly increased sanctions against Belarus. European sanctions had already been imposed against that country, but the government in Tallinn decided to go even further by banning the transit of oil from Belarus via the Baltic state, which is a member of the EU and NATO.
The ban targets the transit of mineral oils that are not subject to EU economic sanctions. Research by various Estonian regional media previously showed that shipments of those oil products via Estonia had reached an all-time high last year. By legally circumventing the sanctions via Estonia, more than 500 million euros worth of oil products were traded. That was three times more than a year earlier.
Head of government Kaja Kallas justified the tougher sanctions against Belarus by stating that given the security situation, the country cannot afford inconsistencies. “The effectiveness of the sanctions against the Lukashenko regime, as well as our own international credibility and influence, depend on it” Kallas said. According to Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia will coordinate its activities with Latvia, Lithuania and the EU.
Western powers accuse Belarusian President Lukashenko of rigging the 2020 presidential election. The governments of the European Union already announced last year that they would impose sanctions on various sectors of the Belarusian economy. This also prompted the crackdown on protesters and the arrest of a dissident after the passenger plane he was traveling on was forced to land in Minsk, the Belarusian capital.
EU member state Estonia single-handedly tightens sanctions against Belarus
Source link EU member state Estonia single-handedly tightens sanctions against Belarus