UK imposes significant new package of economic sanctions on Belarus on anniversary of fraudulent election

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Minsk, Belarus

The UK has imposed new sanctions on Belarus.

The UK has imposed a package of trade, financial and aviation sanctions on Belarus, in response to the continued undermining of democracy and human rights violations by the Lukashenko regime.

The US and Canada are also announcing new sanctions measures today, 9 August, one year on from the fraudulent election in Belarus.

These further sanctions follow designations that the UK imposed on 21 Jun 2021 in coordination with the US, Canada and EU, against 7 individuals and 1 entity from the Belarusian regime in response to the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega following the unlawful diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 in May 2021. The UK continues to call for the immediate release of Mr Protasevich, Ms Sapega and other political prisoners held in Belarus.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The Lukashenko regime continues to crush democracy and violate human rights in Belarus. These sanctions demonstrate that the UK will not accept Lukashenko’s actions since the fraudulent election. The products of Lukashenko’s state-owned industries will not be sold in the UK, and our aerospace companies will not touch his fleet of luxury aircraft.

The package includes:

  • aviation measures to prevent Belarusian air carriers from overflying or landing in the UK and a prohibition on the provision of technical assistance to President Lukashenko’s fleet of luxury aircraft
  • trade measures on potash, petroleum products, interception and monitoring goods and technology, goods used in cigarette manufacturing, and dual-use goods and technology to reduce the amount of revenue flowing to the Lukashenko regime and to limit its access to items that could enable the internal repression of the Belarusian population
  • financial measures prohibiting purchases of transferable securities and money-market instruments issued by the Belarusian state, as well as those issued by state-owned banks, and the provision of loans

This comprehensive response will also include prohibitions on the provision of insurance and reinsurance to Belarusian state bodies, and changes to the UK government’s policy to further tighten the existing arms embargo.

The UK is also today designating Mikhail Gutseriev, a prominent Russian businessman who is one of the main private investors in Belarus and a longstanding associate of Alexander Lukashenko. Gutseriev has provided support for the Government of Belarus, including through use of his business interests.

These measures represent a significant additional step in bringing pressure to bear on the Lukashenko regime. They are carefully targeted to build pressure on Lukashenko, state institutions and those around him to change behaviour, while minimising, as far as possible, any unintended consequences on the wider population in Belarus.

These sanctions measures have been put in place via an amendment to the Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

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