Belarus: EU adopts new round of restrictive measures over internal repression
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The Council today decided to impose restrictive measures on an additional 12 individuals and 8 entities for their role in the ongoing internal repression and human rights abuses in Belarus. These measures are in addition to those adopted today in the context of Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine and constitute sixth round of sanctions against the Lukashenko regime linked to the domestic situation in Belarus
This illegitimate regime continues wide-spread human rights violations and brutal repression against all segments of the Belarusian society. The European Union continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Belarus. This sixth round of sanctions is another example of our determination to act when human rights are violated.Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Today’s decision targets prominent individuals responsible for continued human rights violation or seriously undermining democracy and the rule of law in Belarus. The listed individuals are responsible for the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition, or benefit from and support the Lukashenko regime. The new listings include high ranking state officials, businessmen and their family, members of the judicial branch, and prominent propagandists, responsible for spreading disinformation and calling for violence.
Today’s round of sanctions, the sixth since October 2020, also targets companies such as Belaruskali, Belarus’s main potash producer, and its export arm, Belarusian Potash Co., the state television and radio broadcasting company Belteleradio, as well as other companies manufacturing tobacco and public transport vehicles.
Altogether, EU restrictive measures on Belarus now apply to a total of 195 individuals and 35 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which impedes them from entering or transiting through EU territories.
The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, have been published in the Official Journal.
The EU stands ready to support a peaceful, democratic transition in Belarus. It is also ready to adopt further restrictive measures, if the situation in the country does not improve.
Since October 2020, the EU has progressively expanded its restrictive measures in light of the situation in Belarus.
On 15 November 2021, the Council amended the designation criteria to allow for the application of targeted restrictive measures against those organising or contributing to activities by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate the illegal crossing of the external EU borders.
Most recently, the legal framework for restrictive measures in view of the internal situation in Belarus was prolonged for one year, until 28 February 2023.
As concerns international developments, since February 2022, the EU has condemned in the strongest possible terms Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military invasion of Ukraine, and consequently adopted a variety of restrictive measures.