The EU Council imposes new sanctions on Belarus

The EU Council imposes new sanctions on Belarus

Under the six-month Spanish presidency, the Council of the EU has adopted measures against 38 individuals and three Belarusian entities that benefit from the Alexander Lukashenko regime, and are also responsible for human rights violations. It also extended export bans to firearms, aviation and space industry.

These new measures, agreed by member states´ambassadors at the COREPER II meeting on 26 July, are in response to Belarus’s continued human rights abuses.

“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. 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,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

They are imposed against people who contribute to the repression of civil society and democratic forces in Belarus. They include prison officials responsible for the torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners, propagandists, and members of the judiciary involved in the prosecution and sentencing of journalists and opponents.

The sanctions also affect state-owned companies that have acted against their employees or even dismissed them for taking part in peaceful protests and strikes.

Altogether, EU restrictive measures on Belarus now apply to a total of 233 individuals and 37 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 pertinent legal acts, including the names of listed people and entities, have been published in the Official Journal of the EU.

The Council has also imposed targeted restrictive measures, in response to Belarus’ continuous involvement in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The sanctions are aimed at banning the export of aviation and space industry technology, firearms and goods used by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

The EU Council, chaired this semester by Spain, pledges to address the human rights situation and to continue to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate demand for democracy, including through support for civil society and independent media.


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