EU sanctions Lukashenko; Brexit deadline likely to be extended
Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:
The EU has agreed to sanction Lukashenko. What now happens?
Well, that remains to be seen. But the EU has now decided, in a sort of strengthening of its position, to sanction also Lukashenko personally. What this will lead to remains to be seen. I think we'll have to wait for what happens. The Belarusian regime is obviously under quite a lot of pressure, but it is digging in. It can still rely on its very strong repressive forces. We're in this particular conflict for the long term. But the fact that the EU is stepping up the pressure is a good sign.
What's the status of Brexit negotiations talk between the EU and the UK?
Well, formally speaking, the deadline or the deadline set by both by the EU and Boris Johnson is on Thursday. If it hasn't been sorted out by Thursday, we go for no deal. I don't think anyone at the moment, anticipates everything being sorted out by Thursday. There are significant issues over state aid, or quite a number of other issues, not the least about fish, which is always a very emotional issue. So, don't expect something by Thursday, but expect the deadline to be extended. That would be my tip at the moment.