Denmark blasts Belarus for kidnapping opposition leader
The foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, has called for hasty EU sanctions to be aimed at the Lukashenko-led regime in Belarus following the kidnapping of an opposition figure yesterday.
Kofod took to social media to voice his displeasure about the proceedings,
“I strongly condemn the violent attacks and arrests of peaceful demonstrators, political opposition and the press, as we see in Belarus,” Kofod wrote on Twitter.
“Denmark continues to work towards the EU sanctions being implemented as quickly as possible. It is urgent!”
The EU is reportedly preparing sanctions against at least 31 individuals in Belarus, including the country’s internal affairs minister.
Maria Kolesnikova was snatched up and bundled into a van by masked men on Monday. She then tore up her passport in an effort to avoid expulsion into Ukraine.
A considerable number of opposition leaders and members of the press in Belarus have been forced into exile abroad due to intimidation tactics employed by the government.
Kolesnikova is among the opposition leadership challenging long-time strongman president Alexander Lukashenko following the election last month.
Lukashenko, often referred to as Europe’s last dictator, has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since coming to power in 1994.
Denmark has been among the countries leading the EU sanction drive and today Veronika Tsepkalo, another figurehead of the political opposition, will meet with the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen.