Germany does not exclude the imposition of sanctions on gas transit through the territory of Belarus. This was announced on May 27 by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“I don’t want to rule out anything now, but it is necessary to hold certain consultations, add information and assess the possibilities that we have there,” Maas told reporters, answering a question about the possible imposition of sanctions.
During a press conference, which was broadcast on YouTube, Maas noted that the actions of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko “have terrorist features,” which is unacceptable and could lead to sanctions.
Earlier that day, the head of the European Council Charles Michel pointed out that the EU has begun work on the introduction of new sanctions against Belarus due to the incident with the landing of the Ryanair liner in Minsk.
On the eve, Maas said that restrictions against Belarus are only the beginning of a large and long-term spiral of sanctions. According to him, the measures must be quickly implemented, the European Commission and all the participating countries are intensively working on this.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said that the EU summit decided to expand economic sanctions against Belarus.
At the same time, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko noted that he would support the introduction of responsibility for calls for sanctions, if the proposal is submitted to the parliament or the head of the republic.
Such a sharp reaction from the West was caused by the incident with the Ryanair airliner, which on May 23 made an emergency landing in Minsk due to a message about mining, which was not subsequently confirmed. On board the liner was the former editor-in-chief of the NEXTA Telegram channel recognized in Belarus as extremist, Roman Protasevich. After the landing of the ship, he was detained, and the Investigative Committee of the Republic opened a criminal case over reports of false mining of the plane.
The incident was condemned by Western countries, some of them banned their airlines from flying in the airspace of Belarus, and also called on the authorities of the republic to release Protasevich. On May 24, at the EU summit, it was decided to ban Belarusian airlines from flying to the EU.