VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says Belarus' retaliatory sanctions could be expected as "the regime's whole rhetoric was militant and aggressive from the very beginning".
"We could really expect that as the regime's whole rhetoric was militant and aggressive from the very beginning. We introduced sanctions only after it became clear that normal mediation was becoming impossible," Nauseda told journalists in Rukla, Jonava District, on Tuesday.
Belarus' decision to impose retaliatory sanctions for Baltic citizens wont stop the European Union from imposing sanctions for the regime, the Lithuanian leader said.
"It won’t frighten us and also won't prevent the European Union from making those decisions that are ripe," he said.
If the EU fails to impose sanctions for Belarus, "credibility in the European Union, its image and trust in it as a power capable of resolving geopolitical problems will be significantly undermined".
Earlier in the day, Belarus imposed retaliatory sanctions for Baltic citizens in response to the decision by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia last Friday to expand the blacklist of representatives of the Belarusian regime.
Earlier in the day, Nauseda discussed the issue of sanctions for Belarus with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron expressed hope the EU would soon impose sanctions for Belarus for vote-rigging and violence against peaceful protesters.