Western countries extend sanctions against Belarus amid migration crisis

The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU) and Canada on Thursday announced new economic sanctions against Belarus, which was accused of “repeated violations of human rights” and of orchestrating the passage of migrants. ‘EU.

“We once again call on the Lukashenko regime to immediately and completely stop the organization of irregular migration across its borders with the European Union”, underlined the allies in a joint statement.

Minsk has been accused of orchestrating an influx of migrants along its border with Poland in retaliation for Western sanctions after Alexander Lukashenko was denounced contesting elections following suppression of the Belarusian opposition.

The new sanctions “demonstrate our unwavering determination to confront a brutal regime that increasingly represses Belarusians, undermines peace and security in Europe, and continues to exploit those who seek only freedom.” want to stay in”, underlined in another statement. American Diplomacy Antony Blinken.

The US Treasury has announced that it is targeting about 20 individuals in power and 12 organizations that are accused of “facilitating the passage of migrants (…) within the European Union” and “running for human rights purposes”. “participation in repression”. and democracy”.

The EU sanctions list has been extended to 28 authorities and entities, including national airline Belavia.

– blacklist –

17 officials and 11 entities have been added to the EU’s blacklist on Belarus, which already includes 166 names including those of President Lukashenko and his two sons, as well as 15 entities linked to the regime. Sanctions include an asset freeze and a ban on entry into the European Union.

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Brussels, but also targeted by Washington, is accused of “playing a key role” in the organization of the passage of migrants into the EU.

According to London, the United Kingdom announced the approval of eight additional individuals for their part, as well as the state company Belaruskali, “one of the world’s largest producers of potash-based fertilisers”.

“These sanctions continue to target important sources of revenue for the Lukashenko regime,” British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a statement.

According to Polish media, Alexander Lukashenko’s regime denies being the instigator of the crisis that killed at least a dozen people in the border region.

According to the latest figures from the European Commission, adopted in late November, about 8,000 migrants from Belarus arrived in EU territory in 2021: 4,285 in Lithuania, 3,255 in Poland and 426 in Latvia.

Western countries extend sanctions against Belarus amid migration crisis

Brussels has accused Belarus of organizing it in retaliation for European sanctions against it, by issuing visas and bringing the arrivals to the borders of Poland and to a lesser extent Lithuania. This situation has raised fears of a large-scale migration crisis in Europe.

Thousands of people, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, are stranded on the Belarus border.

Poland, which has built a barbed wire fence and mobilized thousands of troops along its border, is criticized by NGOs for its policy of returning migrants to Belarus, many of whom find themselves very close between the two countries. Find yourself trapped in difficult situations. cold.

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