28 Feb 2023 09:11

EU extends sanctions against Belarus for internal repression and support for Russia's actions in Ukraine

BRUSSELS. Feb 28 (Interfax) - The Council of the European Union on Monday decided to prolong for another year the restrictive measures linked to internal repression in Belarus, according to the council's communique published in Brussels.

It cited Belarus' support for Russia's actions in Ukraine as another reason behind the extension of sanctions.

"The decision was taken on the basis of the annual review" and "considering the persistent gravity of the domestic situation in the country", as well as due to "Belarus' ongoing involvement in" the Russian military operation, the communique said.

These measures now apply until February 28, 2024. The document also said that "since August 2020, the EU has imposed successive rounds of sanctions, against those responsible for internal repression and human rights abuses."

The restrictive measures consist of a ban on travel to the EU and an asset freeze for listed individuals and entities. The list currently includes 195 individuals, among them Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, and 34 entities.

In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed, either directly or indirectly.

Belarus also remains subject to targeted economic sanctions, including restrictions in the financial sector, trade, dual-use goods, technology and telecommunication, energy, transport, and other sectors.

The EU "is determined to address the human rights situation in the country and will continue to support the Belarusian people in their legitimate request for democracy, including through support to civil society and independent media," it said.