Sanctions against Belarus
1 The EU — Belarus
The ‘Die Welt’ reported while citing their sources that the EU won’t include the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, on the sanctions list. Germany, France and Italy opposed the imposition of such sanctions. In the opinion of those countries, «despite all the circumstances, the communication channels with Lukashenko should be kept open. His inclusion in the black list would mean a complete cessation of the dialogue with Minsk». The introduction of the sanctions against the President of Belarus was mostly supported by the Baltic countries and Poland. Earlier the US Permanent Representative to the OSCE, James Gilmore, stated in an interview to the ‘Foreign Policy’ that Alexander Lukashenko needs to be convinced that in the current circumstances he can’t be the president. James Gilmore underlined that he remains «deeply concerned» with a possible intervention of Russia in Belarus in order to support Lukashenko.
Anti-government actions were repeated in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. The protesters blocked the traffic at the key intersections of the city. The peaceful protest of several thousand people took place on Thursday evening, and ended after midnight. After the rally on the ‘Independence Square’, the protesters held their usual march through the streets of Sofia, while setting up their tents along the way. There were no incidents. In the night after the end of the action, the protesters willingly removed the tent camps, and restored the traffic.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, announced that the technical secretariat of the OPCW continues to delay the investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. As an example, Maria Zakharova recalled the chemical attack that took place on 24th of November, 2018, in the Syrian city of Aleppo. “Almost two years have passed since the incident. However, the Technical Secretariat is still unable to complete the investigation, and they constantly put forward additional demands on Syria” — Maria Zakharova explained and added that Damascus provided the OPCW with all the necessary information, thus demonstrating their full openness and willingness to cooperate. Maria Zakharova added that by delaying the investigation — the OPCW is violating the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. According to Maria Zakharova — such behavior confirms the commitment of the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat, and it confirms their readiness to «fulfill political orders from some states that pursue their own geopolitical interests in the Middle East, and they have repeatedly used military force against Syria in a violation of the UN Charter».
The ‘Hindustan Times’ reported while citing their sources that the Indian Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh, is planning to meet with the Chinese Minister of National Defense, General Wei Fenghe, at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization event in Moscow. The ‘Hindustan Times’ reported that the ministers of the two countries intend to discuss the situation that has developed in the Indian Union Territory of Ladakh, after the clash between the forces of India and China. The possible meeting will mark the first high-level meeting of the representatives of India and China since the Chinese army, according to India, tried to one-sidedly change the status quo on the Line of control in the eastern Ladakh.
‘The Wall Street Journal’ reported that Donald Trump intends to nominate William Ruger as a candidate for the post of the US ambassador to Afghanistan. William Ruger once stated that the USA need to pull all the American troops out from the country. William Ruger is the current Vice President of Research at the Charles Koch Institute in the USA. Donald Trump can make an official statement in September — ‘The Wall Street Journal’ specified. It was noted that the USA notified the Afghan authorities about their plans. William Ruger passed the necessary checks over the past 3 months. His appointment must firstly obtain the approval from the US Senate. The current US chargé d’Affaires in Afghanistan is Ross Wilson.