Monday, January 17

EU, US, UK and Canada expand sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime

New sanctions for the Alexander Lukashenko regime by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada. In a joint statement, the five affirm: “In response to the continuous attacks against human rights and fundamental freedoms, the disregard for international norms and the repeated acts of repression, we have again adopted sanctions in a coordinated manner against certain individuals and entities.”

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Thus, the 27 governments of the EU have approved this Thursday the fifth package of sanctions against the Belarusian government “for the continuous abuses against human rights and the instrumentalization of migrants.” And, as a result, they have decided to impose restrictive measures on another 17 people and 11 entities.

This Thursday’s decision, specifically, is directed at “members of the judiciary, including the Supreme Court and the State Control Committee, as well as the propaganda media, which contribute to the continued repression of civil society, from the democratic opposition, independent media and journalists. ”

The United States, for its part, has imposed new sanctions targeting 32 people and entities: arms manufacturers, executives of the public company Belaruskali, and members of Guardservice and Tsentrkurort, responsible for issuing visas to migrants:

According to Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, “the European Union will not tolerate the instrumentalization of human beings orchestrated by the Lukashenko regime. This cynical strategy of exploitation of vulnerable people is an abominable attempt to divert attention from the continuum The regime’s disregard for international law, fundamental freedoms and human rights The EU stands together to meet this challenge and is using all the tools at its disposal in the face of attempts to create a crisis at the EU’s borders. We continue to stand in solidarity with the people of Belarus. This fifth round of sanctions is another example of our determination to act when human rights are violated. ”

As Borrell recalled in a tweet, the European sanctions already refer to 183 people and 26 entities.

The United Kingdom, for its part, has imposed new sanctions on eight Belarusian leaders “responsible for repression and human rights violations”, in addition to entities such as OJSC Belaruskali, “one of the largest producers of fertilizers in the world, and an important source of income and foreign exchange for the Lukashenko regime. ”

Foreign Minister Liz Truss said: “These sanctions target important sources of income for the Lukashenko regime and impose severe restrictions on those responsible for some of the worst anti-democratic acts in Belarus. The UK and our allies will always uphold the rule of law and hold those who undermine freedom, democracy and human rights to account. ”

The UK has already imposed sanctions on more than 100 individuals and organizations “in response to the rigged elections in Belarus and the heinous acts and human rights violations that the Lukashenko regime continues to commit,” says the Boris Johnson Government.

Belavia Airlines

The decision also targets “high-ranking political officials of the Lukashenko regime, as well as companies (such as Belavia Airlines), tour operators and hotels that have helped incite and organize illegal border crossings through Belarus into the EU, and, in this way, participate in the instrumentalization of migration for political purposes “, affirm the governments of the EU.

Thus, those sanctioned “are subject to an assets freeze, and EU citizens and companies are prohibited from making funds available to them. In addition, natural persons are subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or passing through the EU territories “.

“The EU has strongly condemned the Lukashenko regime for deliberately endangering people’s lives and well-being and fueling the crisis at the EU’s external borders, in an attempt to divert attention from the situation in Belarus, where the brutal repression and human rights violations continue and worsen, “states the communiqué of the 27:” The Council is closely monitoring the internal situation in Belarus and will continue to counter illegal migration sponsored and organized by the Lukashenko regime. ”

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the interested persons, have been published in the Official Gazette.

According to the 27, “the EU is ready to support a democratic and peaceful transition with a comprehensive plan of economic support. We are also ready to adopt new measures, even against other economic agents, if the situation does not improve.”

Since October 2020, the EU has progressively expanded its restrictive measures in Belarus.

Thus, on October 21 and 22, 2021, the European Council (EU leaders) adopted conclusions in which it declared that “it would not accept any attempt by third countries to instrumentalize migrants for political purposes, condemned all hybrid attacks on EU borders and stated that it would respond accordingly. ”

Those conclusions highlighted that the EU “will continue to counter the hybrid attack of the Belarusian regime, including by adopting new restrictive measures against legal persons and entities.”

On November 15, 2021, the EU Council amended the criteria “to allow the application of specific restrictive measures against individuals and entities that organize or contribute to activities carried out by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate the illegal crossing of borders. outside the EU “.