At the end of June, the EU imposed sanctions targeting certain sectors of the Belarus economy known to benefit the government including potash, tobacco, and petroleum. The UK has now followed suit and imposed sanctions as a result of the continued undermining of democracy and human rights violations by the Lukashenko regime. In addition to designating prominent politicians and businesspeople, the measures prohibit:
- technical assistance to certain aircraft
- Belarusian air carriers from overflying and landing in the UK
- insurance and reinsurance services to Belarus or Belarusian authorities
- the provision of loans or purchases of transferable securities and money-market instruments issued by the Belarusian state, as well as those issued by state-owned banks, if it has a maturity exceeding 90 days and issued after 9th August 2021
- export and import trade in:
- petroleum products
- interception and monitoring goods and technology
- goods used in cigarette manufacturing, and
- dual-use goods and technology
- Financial and brokering services related to restricted goods and technology
UK Persons and those conducting business in the UK must comply with these measures.
The US and Canada have also announced additional sanctions against Belarus. The US sanctions designate individuals and entities known to benefit the Lukashenko regime, in particular state-owned entities in tobacco and potash. Canada imposed additional listings as well as sectoral-type restrictions similar to those by the UK and EU.
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.