The United Kingdom on Tuesday announced sanctions, taken in coordination with Canada, targeting eight Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, due to the crackdown on the protest movement in Belarus.
The UK and Canada have sent a clear message by imposing sanctions on the violent and fraudulent regime of Alexander Lukashenko. We do not accept the results of this rigged electionBritish Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a statement, referring to the disputed August 9 presidential election.
Taking immediate effect, these new sanctions include a travel ban in these countries and the freezing of the assets of eight representatives of the Belarusian regime, including Alexander Lukashenko, his son and adviser Viktor Lukashenko and the head of the presidential administration Igor Sergeyenko.
This is the second time that the UK has used the new mechanism, announced this summer, to sanction human rights violations independently after leaving the European Union (EU) last January.
Regarding Belarus, the British authorities explained last week that they initially wanted to join EU sanctions, but that the latter had been blocked for lack of unanimity among the member states.
Belarus has been agitated since early August by an unprecedented protest movement against the re-election deemed rigged by the opposition of President Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994.
Lukashenko has so far refused to engage in dialogue with the opposition, and the protests – the most recent on Sunday brought together some 100,000 people – have systematically resulted in hundreds of arrests.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, who went into exile in Vilnius, for her part held talks in Lithuania on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and is due to deliver a speech to the French Parliament.
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