In coordination with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, the European Union has adopted a new package of sanctions – the fourth – against the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
And the foreign ministers of the 27 countries, meeting in Luxembourg, decided to punish 78 individuals, including the Ministers of Defense and Transport of Belarus. The restrictive measures also address eight entities, for their involvement in human rights violations and the forced diversion of a Ryanair plane, which linked Athens to Vilnius.
The head of European diplomacy does not rule out the possibility of a fifth package of sanctions. Josep Borrell admitted that economic sanctions will affect everyone and everything, but noted that there is no alternative: “When applied, economic sanctions will affect the behavior of the regime because they will affect the country’s economy. It is not a magic wand, but this is the magic wand. The tool we have under We acted.”
It particularly targets the banking sectors and industries related to oil and potassium chloride, one of the country’s main exports.
These measures come in response to the diversion of a Ryanair commercial flight that left Greece bound for Lithuania. He ended up in a state of emergency in Minsk, followed by the arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevic and his companion Sofia Sabiga.
In an interview with Euronews, the head of Greek diplomacy Nikos Dendias said that he is considering legal action: “The sanctions are not against the Belarusian economy, but against the Belarusian system. What the EU is trying to do is clearly support Belarusian society in an attempt to restore democracy in the country. However, We have not forgotten the problem of the hijacking inside the Ryanair plane. When the plane left Athens for Vilnius, Greece is considering whether a criminal case should be brought against those responsible for what happened.”
The sanctions package is expected to bring together EU leaders this weekend, at a summit to discuss the strategic relationship with Russia.