Norway aligned with the EU’s new sectoral sanctions against Belarus as a response to the major human rights violations being committed by the country’s authorities, the country’s foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said on July, 12.
The sanctions include, among others, restrictions on trade in items used for repression, certain dual-use items, petroleum products and goods used in tobacco manufacturing. These sectors provide the Belarusian state, and thus President Lukashenka’s antidemocratic regime, with large revenues, Monday’s statement reads.
“These sectoral sanctions demonstrate the resolve of Norway and its close European partners to react strongly to major human rights violations in Belarus. Instead of pursuing its failed policies, the regime must free all political prisoners and initiate a dialogue with the democratic forces,” the minister stressed.
The situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, with the jailing of members of the opposition, the harassment of human rights defenders and the silencing of independent media; Belarus has over 500 political prisoners, the Norwegian side noted.
The Norwegian regulations on specific measures against Belarus will be updated with the latest additions.
On June 24, the Council of the EU introduced new restrictive measures against the Belarusian regime to respond to the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists, as well as to the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 and the related detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.
“The new targeted economic sanctions include the prohibition to directly or indirectly sell, supply, transfer or export to anyone in Belarus equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of the internet and of telephone communications, and dual-use goods and technologies for military use and to specified persons, entities or bodies in Belarus. Trade in petroleum products, potassium chloride (‘potash’), and goods used for the production or manufacturing of tobacco products is restricted. Furthermore, access to EU capital markets is restricted, and providing insurance and re-insurance to the Belarusian government and Belarusian public bodies and agencies is prohibited. Lastly, the European Investment Bank will stop any disbursement or payment under any existing agreements in relation to projects in the public sector, and any existing Technical Assistance Service Contracts. Member states will also be required to take actions to limit the involvement in Belarus of multilateral development banks of which they are members,” the Coucil said.
Last week, the US and ten European countries called for new sanctions against the Lukashenka regime over their fostering illegal migration to the EU.