BRUSSELS, June 21. /TASS/. The European Union has expanded its sanctions against Belarus by additionally blacklisting 78 natural persons and 8 legal entities, the European Council said in a statement issued on Monday in Brussels.
“The Council today decided to impose restrictive measures against 78 Belarusian individuals and 8 entities. 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,” the statement reads.
The council underlines, “seven individuals and one entity subject to this new round of restrictive measures were designated in connection to the forced and unlawful landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May 2021, endangering aviation safety, and the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.” “Among those targeted are also several prominent business figures who support and benefit from the Lukashenko regime. These sanctions therefore send a further strong signal to the backers of the regime, that their continued support for Aleksandr Lukashenko comes at a substantial cost,” the statement adds.
“The EU does not stand alone in its response to the crisis in Belarus; we are united in our action with our likeminded partners,” the European Council noted.
The EU sanctions now apply to 166 persons and 15 entities in total. “Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which impedes them from entering or transiting through EU territories,” the statement concludes.