Another seven countries align with EU’s restrictive measures imposed on Lukashenka regime

On 15 November 2021, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision amending the listing criteria used to decide on restrictive measures, in view of the unpresedented crisis at the EU border with Belarus, so as ‘to be able to respond to the instrumentalisation of human beings carried out by the Belarus regime for political purposes’.


The sanctions regime was amended by way of a Council decision and a Council regulation, which broaden the listing criteria on which specific designations can be based. Since then, the bloc has been able to target individuals and entities organising or contributing to activities by the Lukashenka regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the EU’s external borders.

According to EEAS Spokesman Peter Stano, four candidates for EU accession (North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania), and three members of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein Norway), have lately aligned themselves with the above mentioned decision. It means that from now one, they have legal grounds to penalise the involved persons and firms for contributing to the migration crisis, not just for the events in Belarus (i.e. election fraud or political repression).

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The European Union has taken note of this commitment and welcomed it.The countries will ensure that their national policies conform to the decision, Wednesday’s statement reads.

On December 2, the Council of the European Union decided to impose the fifth package of restrictive measures on additional 17 individuals and 11 entities in view of the situation in Belarus. The decision targets prominent members of the judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, and the State Control Committee, as well as propaganda outlets (e.g. notorious anchorman Marat Markau) and ministries (e.g. MFA spokesman Anatol Hlaz) contributing to continuing repression of civil society, democratic opposition, independent media outlets and journalists.

The list also includes high-ranking political officials of the Lukashenka regime, as well as companies (such as Belavia Airlines), tour operators (Tsentrkurort, Oskartour) and hotels (Minsk, Planeta) that 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.

On December 23, the above countries aligned with the recent sanctions slapped on the Lukashenka regime.

As of today, there are more than 170 people, several dozen companies and seven sectors of the Belarusian economy on the sanctions list.

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