EU to hit Belarus right in the fishing quotas, a bit
EU leaders seeking to flex their geopolitical muscle have emerged from an all-night meeting with an agreement to consider partially severing Belarus’s fishing rights.
Boats departing from the country’s ports would see some pelagic and several demersal quotas set to a bit less, as the trade bloc sought to deliver a stern message that stealing a literal plane would not go unpunished, at least not completely.
The measures are the most severe sanctions imposed by the European Council since murderous dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi was denied a complimentary tie during the 2006 Belgian Presidency.
In a debate that stretched into the small hours of Tuesday morning, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s whoever-it-is-this-week whittled down potential retaliatory measures from a shortlist provided by the European Commission.
Ursula von der Leyen had originally proposed a series of swingeing measures including denying Minsk Blue Cheese Protected Geographical Indication status, making senior regime officials pay roaming charges during future trips to the bloc, and forcing President Lukashenko to move his bank accounts from Luxembourg to Switzerland.
Officials hope restrictions on Belarussian state airline Belavia will prove decisive, in effect forcing Lukashenko to start using Ryanair.
“The EU stands for the rule of international law and respect for fundamental rights,” a spokesperson for the European Council told Berlaymonster. “Today we have sent a very clear message to dictators in every country of the world to which Germany doesn’t export that much.”
“I hope people will now finally realise that we are not only different to the Council of Europe, but much better,” the spokesperson added.
“I mean, did you ever try flying Ryanair? I can’t even.”