Europe

Washington prepares, with the EU, sanctions against Belarus

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The United States says it is working with the European Union “a list of targeted sanctions against key members of the Lukashenko regime”, after the forced landing of a European airliner in Minsk and the arrest of an opponent of the Belarusian president who was on board the aircraft.

The American government announced Friday, May 29, preparing, with the European Union, punitive measures against Belarus and President Alexander Lukashenko, supported by Vladimir Putin, in the midst of the international scandal caused by the hijacking, on May 23, of a plane line to arrest a Belarusian opposition journalist.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced the development of a “list of targeted sanctions against key members of the Lukashenko regime”. Nine Belarusian state-owned enterprises are targeted.

Face to international standards

These sanctions will be associated with “current human rights violations and corruption, the falsification of the 2020 elections and the events of May 23,” the spokesperson continued.

Because according to Washington, these events are “a direct affront to international standards,” said administration spokeswoman Biden, announcing in the wake of the suspension of a 2019 agreement between the United States and Belarus, which allowed carriers from each country to use the airspace of the other.

Like the European Union, Washington once again called for “a credible international investigation” into the rerouting of the Ryanair plane on May 23 which linked Athens to Vilnius, escorted to Minsk by a plane from Belarusian hunting.

Present on board the intercepted plane on the spurious grounds of a bomb threat, the blogger and opponent Roman Protassevich was arrested during this forced stopover, as well as his companion.

>> To read: Arrest of Roman Protassevich: Belarus declares war on the opposition in exile

Nine public enterprises targeted

Last year, the United States had already imposed sanctions on eight Belarusian officials after suspicion of electoral fraud during the presidential election in August 2020, when Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected with 80.08% of the vote.

Washington is also planning “complete blocking sanctions” against nine Belarusian state-owned companies, as of June 3, prohibiting Americans from doing business with these companies.

Last month, the United States revoked an authorization for certain transactions with the nine state-owned companies, sanctioned for human rights violations and abuses.

With Reuters and AFP

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