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Jan 10, 2021
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Lithuania violated EU sanctions against Belarus

“We have no doubt that the sanctions were applied wisely, but we had problems …”

Double standards won in Lithuania, and the Belarusian health resort Belarus de facto was removed from the sanctions. But not completely, the standards are double.

Let us remind you that at the end of last year it suddenly became clear that the Belarusian sanatorium located in Lithuania was under sanctions imposed by a Swedish bank. Swedbank, having frozen the company’s accounts due to the fact that the third package of EU sanctions against Belarus came into force. Lithuania, which from the first days of the Belarusian opposition’s speeches called for tougher and wider sanctions against Minsk, was outraged – it turned out that the overwhelming majority of the employees of the sanatorium are citizens of Lithuania, and the sanatorium itself is a large taxpayer. In addition, non-payments for utilities of the sanatorium will hit the utilities of the city of Druskininkai, where it is located.

President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda – the main inspirer of European sanctions against Belarus – said that an urgent need to find a solution to help the staff of the sanatorium, left without money for the New Year holidays.

Meeting with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last week, Nauseda said that sanctions are certainly good, but they should not worsen the situation of Lithuanian citizens.

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus commented on the statements of Gitanas Nauseda, calling them “An example of hypocrisy of the highest standard”

But in Lithuania on this occasion a meeting of the parliament was urgently convened, at which the question was decided – how to make sure that the sanctions remain and the Lithuanian citizens are not affected.

“We have no doubt that the sanctions were applied reasonably to economic entities directly financed by the regime, their activities in our country, of course, are reasonably punished. But we have a problem, because people work there, pay taxes and now remain in the dark with very uncertain prospects, ”

– said the Minister of Social Security and Labor Monica Navikene

After the parliamentary meeting, the minister commented on the situation to journalists, noting that temporary economic difficulties are always justified if you defend “Human rights, freedoms and fundamental values”

“Any sanctions – be it Belarus, Russia or Iran, any country in the world – have economic consequences. But they are not introduced in vain – in order for us to protect human rights ”,

– Navitskienė does not doubt.

The minister also said that a law would soon be adopted according to which workers who refused to work in enterprises owned by citizens of Belarus would be paid severance pay from the state in the amount of two average salaries.

As a result, the European sanctions were circumvented, an agreement was reached with the bank, and the employees of the sanatorium have already received their salaries. However, officially the sanatorium is still under sanctions and it was allowed to withdraw from its accounts 156 thousand euros, no more.

“The employees and the administration of the sanatorium are in the dark – how long will the jobs be maintained, what will happen to the sanatorium? There is no clear answer. We need clarification about the future of the sanatorium. Sanctions should be based on the principle of proportionality and should be directed directly at the actors responsible for the policy or specific actions for which the sanctions instrument is applied. Sanatorium Belorus is not included in the list of restrictive measures in the EU Council regulation ”,

– said in the appeal of workers to the government.

In addition, the workers of the sanatorium reminded President Nauseda, who calls for leaving those enterprises owned by Belarusian citizens, that there is simply no other job in Druskininkai, almost 20% of the population is unemployed in the city and it is considered a great success to get a job in a Belarusian sanatorium.

“All the sanctions adherence to principles of the Baltic politicians has a certain price tag. Why won’t the Lithuanian leadership introduce economic restrictions against Belaruskali, Grodnoazot and Naftan? Because you will have to bury the port of Klaipeda in one grave together with the Lithuanian Railways. Even the sanatorium “Belarus” with its tax deductions and 350 Lithuanian workers turned out to be too high a price for the foreign policy game of the official Vilnius ”,

– the online edition comments on the situation Baltnews

Own corr. FSK

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