Seven non-EU European states have banned Belarusian airlines ‘ planes from landing and taking off at their airports, as well as flying over their territories. We are talking about Albania, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, and Serbia, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. They joined the sanctions adopted on June 4 against the Lukashenko regime by all 27 EU states.
This measure was taken in response to the order of Alexander Lukashenko to seize and force to land a passenger plane of the Irish company Ryanair. There were 126 passengers and 6 crew members onboard the plane. After landing, the Belarusian special services arrested blogger Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, a Russian citizen.
EU Foreign Policy Representative Josep Borrell said that the seven countries will ensure that the sanctions adopted by the EU Council are followed and welcomed the decision.
The new EU sanctions against Lukashenko will affect the country’s largest car-building enterprises – MAZ and BelAZ. The list also includes the New Oil Company, Belaeronavigatsiya, and 4 other companies associated with Russian businessman Mikhail Gutseriev.
Among the individuals included in the list are businessmen Alexey Olesin, Alexander Zaitsev, and Sergey Teterin, members of the family of Alexander Lukashenko, deputies, investigators, judges, law enforcement officers, university rectors.
The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, called the sanctions “a message to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.” The way to lift the sanctions, according to him, is to stop the repression, release political prisoners and start a national political dialogue.
The EU foreign ministers also approved the introduction of sectoral sanctions against Belarus. They will affect Belarusian exports. These sanctions have yet to be approved by the EU heads of state. This is expected to happen at the summit on June 24-25.
In coordination with the EU, sanctions against the Lukashenko regime were adopted by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The announcement of sectoral sanctions against Minsk is expected in a few days.