National sanctions on Belarus possible: Polish FM

If the European Union does not impose sanctions on Belarus, the neighbouring countries may consider introducing their own national sanctions, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said after Monday’s talks with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó in Budapest.

"If such sanctions were to be not launched - we are talking about sanctions targeting individual officials of the Belarusian state - then the countries of our region, I mean Belarus's neighbours belonging to the EU, will consider introducing national sanctions," Mr Rau said.

So far the Euroblock has failed to impose sanctions on Belarus in whatever shape or manner, mainly due to Cyprus preventing the EU’s FMs from reaching a consensus with this a week ago.

In the wake of the fruitless discussion, Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, said that the EU's credibility was at stake.

Poland and the EU have rejected the official results of the August 9 Belarusian presidential elections, which saw long-time incumbent Alexander Lukashenko victorious with over 80 percent of the vote. The election is believed to have been rigged in his favour.

Poland continues not to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as Belarus’ president and has condemned the subsequent violence that erupted following public outrage with the potentially rigged election results. The EU has also condemned the clampdown on the protesters.

Besides discussing potential sanctions against Belarusian state officials, the officials also discussed “bilateral cooperation and ways to further it, including in the area of development and humanitarian aid, as well as regional cooperation, especially in the #V4 format.”