EU approves new Belarus sanctions on 78 individuals and eight companies

Luxembourg, Jun 21 (EFE).- The foreign affairs ministers of the European Union agreed Monday to impose new sanctions on 78 individuals and eight companies for their involvement in human rights violations and the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk to arrest dissident journalist Roman Protasevich.

The measures were coordinated with Canada, the UK and the United States, according to High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

“The European Union remains ready to support a future democratic Belarus with a comprehensive plan of economic support of up to 3 billion euros,” said Borrell in a press conference following the meeting.

The new sanctions build on previous penalties imposed by the EU, for an aggregate 166 individuals and 15 companies affected by international punitive measures on Belarus.

Those targeted by the sanctions are barred from traveling to or through member states and the bloc will freeze any of their assets placed within EU jurisdiction.

Lithuania based Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya met EU representatives in Luxembourg on Monday morning.

“We have listened attentively to her assessment of the current situation and her call for the EU to continue maintaining a determined position,” said Borrell.

“This decision was made in view of the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists,” said the Council of the EU in a statement. EFE


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