This is the fifth package of sanctions against Belarus.
European and North American states announced new economic sanctions on Belarusian operators on Thursday.
The background is the ongoing migration situation on the Belarusian-Polish border. During the autumn, thousands of people have arrived in Belarus with the help of the authorities and have hoped to enter the EU across the border.
The sanctions announced by the EU on Thursday cover 17 people and 11 companies or other communities. They target, among others, members of the Supreme Court and the country’s political elite.
In addition, sanctions are imposed on the state-owned airline Belavia as well as tour operators and hotels that have been involved in organizing border crossings. Their property has been frozen and those subject to sanctions have been banned from traveling in the EU.
In total, the EU has imposed sanctions on 183 individuals and 26 communities.
EU Belarus has deliberately attracted migrants to Europe to cause unrest at the Union’s borders and retaliate against previous sanctions.
“This cynical strategy of exploiting vulnerable people is a creepy attempt to divert attention [Valko-Venäjän] continuing disregard for international law, fundamental rights and human rights “, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell commented in the press release.
The EU, Britain, the United States and Canada also announced a joint effort opinion. It calls on Belarus to stop crossing the border for migrants and, among other things, to release nearly 900 political prisoners.
Belarus’s foreign ministry commented on Thursday’s sanctions decision as absurd and hypocritical, AFP news agency reported.
European Union has imposed sanctions on Belarus on several occasions since Alexander Lukashenko declared fraudulently the winner of the presidential election last year and the protests of the people were suppressed by force.
The set of sanctions now announced is the Fifth. It has already been decided in November at the EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
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