The European Council has approved sanctions against an additional 15 members of the Belarusian regime, including President Alexandr Lukashenko, according to an announcement published by the Council on 6 November 2020.
The targeted sanctions are also against President Lukashenko’s son, the National Security Advisor Viktor Lukashenko.
Sanctions against top-level members of the Lukashenko regime are due to the ongoing violence against protestors in the country who are opposing the unfair elections that happened in Belarus this year and the sustained violence against journalists.
“The Council today added 15 members of the Belarusian authorities, including Alexandr Lukashenko as well as his son and National Security Adviser Viktor Lukashenko, to the list of individuals sanctioned in relation to the violent repression and intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, opposition members and journalists after the 2020 presidential election in Belarus,” the announcement reads.
The targeted sanctions against the Belarusian officials include a travel ban and asset freezes; the sanctions also make it illegal for any EU citizen or business to make funds available for those included in the sanctions.
“Restrictive measures, which now apply to a total of 59 individuals, include a travel ban and an asset freeze. In addition, EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to those listed,” the announcement reads.
The new sanctions against these Belarusian officials “follow up” sanctions made on 12 October 2020 against top-level Belarusian officials, which were also put into place because of violence against protestors and journalists, and the unfair presidential elections in the country.
Original action made by EU authorities came on 24 September 2020, when the High Representative issued a declaration on behalf of the EU saying that the elections held no legitimacy, demanding that violence against protestors and journalists will cease, and that political prisoners will be released.
Belarus has yet to respond to the demands made by the EU, and the violence and repression has yet to stop either.
EU and Schengen Member States continue to support Belarusian citizens fleeing the chaos in their country and maintain their stance against repression and violence against protestors.
It is still not clear whether or not Belarus is going to cave to the European demands of violence-free, fair elections, or if the chaos in the country will continue unchecked.