Monday, January 24

New EU, US and UK sanctions against Belarus for the arrest of Roman Protasevich


The actions have been coordinated in the face of the “systematic human rights violations” of the Belarusian leader.

Josep Borrell and the l
Josep Borrell and the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.EFE
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The Foreign Ministers of the European Union approved sanctions on Monday against 78 more individuals and eight other companies in Belarus for their relationship with human rights violations and their connection with the forced landing of the Ryanair plane in which the opposition journalist Roman Protasevich was traveling. .

Following today’s decision, the EU has sanctioned a total of 166 people and 15 companies related to the political crisis in Belarus.

People affected by these restrictive measures have forbidden to travel or transit by the European Union and are also subject to a freeze on their assets in the community club.

In addition, the citizens and companies of the Twenty-Seven cannot make funds available to the individuals and companies included in the sanctioned list.

For its part, the British Government imposed sanctions on eleven subjects and two Belarusian entities. The Executive considers that these measures send a “strong signal” to the Belarusian authorities that the UK “will not tolerate those who suppress human rights coming to the UK” or using its financial institutions.

The British Foreign Office indicates in a statement that the sanctions include “travel ban and asset freezes against high-ranking officials in the Belarusian regime” and against BNK Ltd, “an exporter of petroleum products”, which, according to London, affect one of the country’s “main sources of financing”.

Canada and the United States also imposed new sanctions on Monday against prominent officials and entities of the Belarusian president’s regime.

In Washington, the State Department indicated in a statement travel restrictions to 46 Belarusian officials, while the Treasury Department announced the blocking of the assets of 16 individuals and five entities linked to Lukashenko.

Among the institutions sanctioned by Washington are the police forces and the Directorate Against Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as the Belarusian KGB.

For its part, Canada imposed sanctions against 17 individuals and five entities “in response to the gross and systematic violations of human rights” in Belarus.

These sanctions have been coordinated with similar measures taken by the European Union and the United Kingdom.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, declared that these coordinated actions seek to “promote the response to the Lukashenko regime and its insults to international norms.”

The Council of the EU, which brings together the member states, stressed in a statement that the sanctioning measures were adopted in light of “the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent repression of civil society, the democratic opposition and journalists. ”

In the case of seven of the 78 individuals and one of the eight companies, the application of sanctions responds “to its connection with the forced and illegal landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk”.

Among those sanctioned are also several prominent businessmen “who support and benefit from the regime”, so the EU wants with these measures to send “a strong signal to those who support the Belarusian regime” and make clear “Your continued support for Alexandr Lukashenko comes at a substantial cost.”

The objective of these sanctions, according to the EU, is “press” to the Belarusian authorities to initiate “a genuine and inclusive national dialogue” with society and to avoid further repression.

The EU stands ready to support a democratic and peaceful transition with a variety of instruments, including a plan of financial support integraHe for a democratic Belarus, but also said he is willing to adopt “more measures, including on other economic actors” if the situation in the country does not improve.

Thus, the EU is already preparing a package of economic sanctions against Minsk that will be addressed by community leaders at their summit on Thursday and Friday and on which they could give guidelines for their subsequent adoption.

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