EU adopts 5th package of sanctions over human rights abuses, migrant crisis fostered by Belarus authorities

On December 2, the Council of the European Union decided to impose restrictive measures on an additional 17 individuals and 11 entities in view of the situation in Belarus.

Today’s decision targets prominent members of the judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, and the State Control Committee, as well as propaganda outlets, contributing to continuing repression of civil society, democratic opposition, independent media outlets and journalists, the Council’s press service reports.

The decision also targets high-ranking political officials of the Lukashenka regime, as well as companies (such as Belavia Airlines), tour operators and hotels that have helped incite and organise illegal border crossings through Belarus to the EU, and in this way participated in the instrumentalisation of migration for political purposes.

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Altogether, EU restrictive measures on Belarus now apply to a total of 183 individuals and 26 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

“The EU has strongly condemned the Lukashenka regime for deliberately putting people’s lives and wellbeing in danger and stirring up the crisis at the EU’s external borders, in an attempt to detract attention from the situation in Belarus, where brutal repression and human rights violations are continuing and worsening. The Council is closely monitoring the internal situation in Belarus and will continue to counter the state-sponsored illegal migration organised by the Lukashenka regime,” the statement reads.

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

EU broadens scope for sanctions’ against Lukashenka regime to tackle hybrid attacks, instrumentalisation of migrants, via