The European Union has imposed a tough round of sanctions against Belarus over its continued human rights abuses and in response to involvement in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
The measures expand the ban on exports to Belarus to a number of highly sensitive goods and technologies which contribute to Belarus’s military and technological enhancement.
The European Council imposed an additional export ban on firearms and ammunition, and on goods and technology suited for use in Belarus’ aviation and space industry, including aircraft engines and drones.
“These restrictive measures are fast-tracked in view of the urgency linked to the fight against circumvention regarding certain highly sensitive goods and technologies,” the European Commision said.
In light of the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus, the EU adopted new restrictive measures against 38 individuals and 3 entities from Belarus who are responsible for serious human rights violations, contribute to the repression of civil society and democratic forces, as well as those who benefit from and support the Lukashenko regime.
The new listings include penitentiary officials responsible for the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including political prisoners, prominent propagandists, as well as members of the judicial branch involved in prosecuting and sentencing democratic opponents, members of civil society and journalists.
Sanctions also target state-owned enterprises which have taken measures against employees or dismissed them for participating in peaceful protests and strikes. Belneftekhim, a state-controlled oil and chemical conglomerate, is also listed as one of the strategic companies, which is supporting the Lukashenko regime.
“We have adopted new sanctions in reaction to the Lukashenko’s illegitimate regime continued systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations and brutal repression against all segments of the Belarusian society,” said Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “Today we are also taking further measures against the Belarusian regime as an accomplice in Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. We stand by the Belarusian people in their quest for peace and democracy”.
The latest round of EU sanctions targeting Belarus are in addition to restrictions already imposed in the financial, trade, energy, transport and other sectors of the Lukashenko regime.
The European Commission said that the new measures create a closer alignment of EU sanctions targeting Russia and Belarus and will help to ensure that Russian sanctions cannot be circumvented through Belarus.
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