Belarus: EU imposes third round of sanctions over ongoing repression

The Council imposed restrictive measures against 27 additional individuals, including high-level Belarusian officials, responsible for the ongoing repression and intimidation, as well as against 2 individuals and 7 entities who benefit from their association with and support the Lukashenka regime.

In response to the brutality of the Belarusian authorities and in support of the democratic rights of the Belarusian people, the Council today decided to adopt 36

additional

designations

.

These sanctions target high-level officials responsible for the ongoing violent repression and intimidation of

peaceful demonstrators, opposition members

and

journalists

, among others. They also target economic actors, prominent businessmen and companies benefiting from and/or supporting the regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko.

This decision aims to send a powerful message to the responsible political and economic actors that their support to the regime comes at a cost.

Restrictive measures include a

travel ban

and an

asset freeze

. The travel ban impedes those listed from

entering or transiting

through EU territories, while the asset freeze is used against the funds or

economic resources

of the listed persons. In addition, EU citizens and companies are

forbidden from making funds available

to the listed individuals and entities.

Today’s decision follows up on the agreement reached by the EU foreign affairs ministers at their video conference meeting on

19 November 2020

. The sanctions will now apply with immediate effect.

A

total

of

88 individuals


and 7 entities

are now designated under the sanctions regime on Belarus.

In the context of the crackdown by Belarusian authorities, a

first round

of sanctions was imposed by the Council against

44 individuals

on 1 October 2020. A

second set

of sanctions targeting

Alexandr Lukashenko and 14 other officials

was imposed on

6 November 2020.

Designated persons, among others, include key figures of the political leadership and of the government, senior officials of the Ministry of the Interior and its troops, the Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, the Prosecutor General, several judges, the Chairman of the National State Television and Radio Company, and several prominent economic actors.

The purpose of these sanctions is to put pressure on the Belarusian political leadership to

prevent further violence

and repression, to

release all political prisoners

and other unjustly detained people, and to initiate a

genuine and inclusive national dialogue

with broader society.

The EU stands ready to support a

peaceful democratic transition

with a variety of instruments, including a

comprehensive plan of economic support

for a democratic Belarus. The EU also stands ready to adopt further sanctions, including on other economic actors, if the situation in Belarus does not improve.

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, have been published in the Official Journal.

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