The European Union has prolonged its sanctions against persons in positions of authority and business representatives in Belarus for a year. The corresponding statement of the EU Council was published on Thursday, 25 February.
“The EU Council today decided to prolong until 28 February 2022 the restrictive measures targeting high-level officials responsible for the violent repression and intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, members of the opposition and journalists in Belarus, as well as those responsible for electoral fraud. The EU sanctions also target economic actors, prominent businesspeople and companies benefiting from and/or supporting the regime of Alexandr Lukashenko,” reads the statement.
The EU recalled that they prolonged the sanctions against 88 people, including Alexander Lukashenko, and seven entities. The restrictive measures consist of a ban on travel to the EU and an asset freeze for listed persons. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed, either directly or indirectly.
The EU stated that it is closely following the development of the situation in Belarus and will continue “to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate striving for democracy”. The EU is closely monitoring the evolution of the situation in Belarus and will continue to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate request for democracy, including through support to civil society and independent media.
Recall that after the presidential elections in Belarus in 2020, the EU introduced three packages of sanctions against our country.
On 2 October, the EU adopted the first sanctions package against Belarus. It imposed travel bans and assets freezing on 40 top officials – security leadership [the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the KGB], and members of the CEC. Then Alexander Lukashenko was not included in the sanctions list, “since this would undermine the demand of Brussels to engage in a dialogue with the opposition through the mediation of the OSCE”.
The second package was adopted on 6 November. The EU imposed sanctions on Lukashenko and 14 high-ranking officials. The list includes National Security Adviser Viktor Lukashenko, Head of the Presidential Administration of Belarus Igor Sergeenko, Chairman of the KGB Ivan Tertel, Chairman of the Investigative Committee Ivan Noskevich, Head of the Operational Analytical Center Andrei Pavlyuchenko and others.
Ob 17 December, the European Union has adopted the third package of sanctions against the Belarusian authorities and business, it includes several seven legal entities and 29 individuals. The list includes OJSC 140 Repair Plant, which is part of the Belarusian State Authority for Military Industry; AGAT Electromechanical Plant, which is responsible for implementing the military-technical policy of the state, OJSC MZKT [whose employees went on strike and were fired]; CJSC Beltechexport which exports weapons and military equipment produced by Belarusian state-owned companies abroad. The list includes GHU, the largest operator on the non-residential real estate market and a supervisor of numerous companies, as well as Dana Holdings, which is the main real estate developers and constructors in Belarus.
On 22 February, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the European Union is considering the possibility of adopting further sanctions against Belarus.