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EU imposes sanctions on Belarus after deadlock resolved

European Council President Charles Michel attends a news conference during the second face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels,Belgium October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed to impose sanctions on about 40 individuals in Belarus on Friday after Cyprus dropped its opposition over demands that the bloc also punish Turkey for tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We had a double strategy,” European Council President Charles Michel told a news conference after the first day of a summit that went past midnight.

“We state that we want to give political dialogue a chance. On the other hand we express our firmness on our values and support for Greece and Cyprus. We are ready to engage in a more positive agenda with Turkey provided that Turkey wants to engage in a more positive agenda with us.”

Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by John Chalmers