Is Belarus in the EU?

BELARUS has closer political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics, says the CIA.

It has an authoritarian government headed by “Europe’s last dictator”, Alexander Lukashenko, who rules with an iron fist.

The Holy Assumption cathedral in Vitebsk, Belarus[/caption]

Is Belarus in the EU?

Belarus is not in the European Union (EU).

The bloc is a political and economic union, consisting of 27 member states.

It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Traditional eastern European buildings in the Troitskoye Predmestje district of Minsk on Svislach River, Belarus[/caption]

EU relations with Belarus

Since October 2020, the EU has progressively imposed restrictions against Belarus.

It says these measures were adopted in response to the fraudulent nature of the August 2020 presidential elections in Belarus.

Also, “they were imposed in light of the intimidation and violent repression of peaceful protesters, opposition members and journalists.

“The EU does not recognise the results of the Belarus elections, condemning them as neither free, nor fair,” it adds.

The bloc has imposed sanctions against 90 people, including Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko and his son and National Security Adviser, Viktor Lukashenko.

They “have been identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members and journalists in the wake of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process,” says the EU.

Brutal Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko[/caption]

What was Belarus called before and when did it become independent?

Belarus was previously known as Belorussia or Byelorussia.

Back in 1919, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) was created.

Although declared a sovereign communist state, it actually joined the Soviet Union three years later.

Then on September 19, 1991, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic told the United Nations that it had changed its name to Belarus.

The name of the state was adopted – the Republic of Belarus.

However, during the 2020 uprisings against President Alexander Lukashenko, the landlocked country in Eastern Europe was referred to by a different name.

In the Netherlands, the media published stories about protests in “Wit-Rusland”, which translates directly from Dutch to “White-Russia”, explains Euronews.

The Belarus flag[/caption]

Some other countries, including Germany, also failed to refer to it as ‘Belarus’.

Euronews said that the Dutch Foreign Ministry regards both Belarus and Wit-Rusland as “the same country”.

The Netherlands writes Belarus on official documents, such as treaties, but Wis-Rusland also remains in use as “most of the people in the Netherlands are more familiar with Wit-Rusland than Belarus,” said a spokesperson.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has tweeted at international organisations – including the Council of Europe – insisting they use Belarus.

Two famous towers, called City Gates, in the capital, Minsk[/caption]

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