New sanctions: increasing pressure on West Belarus

New sanctions: increasing pressure on West Belarus

Status: 21.06.2021 9:04 PM.

In addition to the European Union, the United States, Great Britain and Canada have also adopted new punitive measures against the Belarusian ruler Lukashenko’s apparatus. He responded to the Ryanair incident and suspicions of electoral fraud.

The European Union, the United States, Great Britain and Canada have jointly imposed further sanctions against Belarus. The European Union imposed travel restrictions on eight additional officials, and also froze their credit balances and eight “entities” – usually companies or organisations.

“We stand united in our deep concern about the ongoing attacks by the Lukashenko regime on human rights, fundamental freedoms and international law,” the European Union and the three states declared in a joint statement.

EU foreign ministers decide on new sanctions against the leadership of Belarus

Marcus Preuss, ARD Brussels, Daily News at 5:00 pm, June 21, 2021

The EU has now taken measures against a total of 15 units and 166 people in Belarus. The sanctions followed the Belarusian state’s brutal crackdown on the opposition after Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner of the election in August, which the EU said was fraudulent.

The European Union tightened its sanctions after Belarus forced a plane from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk and arrested opposition journalist Roman Protasevich while on the plane. One unit and seven people were affected by the current sanctions imposed by the European Union due to the incident.

The United States and Canada also decide on measures.

Dozens of people in the United States were affected, but not all of them were related to the Ryanair incident. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the concerted action showed the West’s determination to hold Lukashenko’s “regime” accountable for “repression and its disregard for international norms”. Canada also responded with punitive measures.

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EU foreign ministers also laid out a number of economic measures aimed at Lukashenko and his allies at a meeting in Luxembourg. EU leaders are expected to adopt them at a summit in Brussels on Thursday. EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell, who chaired the meeting, said the economic sanctions would “severely damage Belarus’s economy”.

support civil society

Austria initially reported concerns as some of the country’s credit institutions are involved, particularly in Belarus. The government in Vienna is now backing the sanctions package. Foreign Minister Alexander Schalenberg speaks of a “totally normal negotiating process” and strongly rejects the blockade allegation. Austria was concerned with “tightening the thumb” after this cold-blooded act of state air piracy.

At the same time, the European Union reaffirmed its support for the Belarusian civil society. Slovak Foreign Minister Martin Klus said: “President Lukashenko has been fighting his own people for almost three decades. So we will also talk today about what the EU is doing to help the democratic opposition and civil society in Belarus. So that the situation can be stabilized. The country and the people get more freedom and more democracy.”

Belarusian opposition leader as guest

At the start of the meeting, EU foreign ministers had breakfast with Belarusian opposition activist Svetlana Tichanovskaya. “This is a very strong sanctions list,” said Tichanovskaya after deliberation. They simultaneously welcomed the imposition of sanctions on the US, Canada and the UK.

With information from Stephan Uberbach, ARD-Studio Brussels

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