Belarus regime imposes sanctions on Škoda, Beiersdorf, Liqui Moly over refusal to sponsor hockey cup in Minsk

Nivea products. Minsk, 16 April 2021. Photo: Belsat

The Belarusian government has banned the import of goods produced by a number of companies in light of ‘unfriendly actions against the Belarusian people’. The corresponding decision was taken by the Council of Ministers on April 23.

The document was adopted on the basis of Decree Nr 128 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on March 30 (‘On applying special measures’). It provides for the prohibition of importing and selling certain groups of products from countries that imposed sanctions and restrictions on the Lukashenka regime.

The Belarusian blacklist includes production by Liqui Moly, Škoda Auto, Beiersdorf (e.g. its Nivea, Eucerin and other lines of the latter).

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The decree does not apply to Škoda cars that are registered in the EAEU countries or imported there for the time being; Belarusians will also be allowed to bring the ‘blacklisted’ articles into the country on condition that they are intended for their own use. At the same time, Belarusian trade facilities are to be forbidden from selling them.

“Persons who violate the embargo on the import of banned goods into Belarus and their sale will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” the statement reads.

Apparently, the Belarusian authorities has made a retaliation attempt as the above companies stated in mid January that they would not sponsor the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship if Minsk turned to be one of its venues. A few days later, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced its decision to move the high-profile from the Belarusian capital city, stressing that such step was ‘unavoidable’ due ‘to safety and security issues’. The championship was expected to be held in Minsk and Riga which had won the right to co-host the corresponding event in the year of 2021. However, due to the rigged elections and the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, a large international movement to strip Belarus of this right gained pace.

On the back of losing the chance, the Belarusian authorities barred Škoda dealers from selling Škoda Rapid cars in Belarus and slapped a temporary ban on importing certain Nivea products.

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