EU left Belarus without cigarettes

The European Union has closed access to the financial markets for Belarus.

Commonwealth countries are prohibited from importing oil products, fertilizers and tobacco from the republic. Minsk, in turn, will not be able to buy military goods from the EU – and the same tobacco. This is how Brussels punishes Minsk for the emergency landing of the Ryanair flight, which was flown by opposition leader Roman Protasevich.

The EU Council has officially announced the introduction of sanctions against Belarus. RIA Novosti reports.

Sectoral economic measures include restrictions on the trade of petroleum products and potassium-based fertilizers, and the import and export of tobacco products and tobacco are prohibited.

The transfer of technologies and equipment to Minsk for wiretapping and interception of Internet communications and telephone conversations is prohibited. A ban has been introduced on the transfer of technology and military and dual-use goods – that is, those that can be used for both peaceful and military purposes.

Belarus has limited access to European financial markets and is prohibited from providing insurance services to Minsk. The European Investment Bank freezes payments on any projects in the public sector of the Republic of Belarus.

The EU Council emphasizes that the sanctions were introduced for “gross violations of human rights in Belarus, aggressive persecution of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists.” In addition, these sanctions are a response to the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on 23 May.

EU seeks human rights

Two days earlier, the EU agreed on the introduction of a fourth package of sanctions against Belarus. The sanctions list includes eight organizations and 78 people. Among them were the son of the President of the country and a sports official Dmitry Lukashenko, the wife of his other son Viktor Lilia, Russian businessman Mikhail Gutseriev, General Director of MAZ Valery Ivankovich, Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Belarus Dmitry Gora, Deputy Prosecutor Generals Alexey Stuk and Gennady Dysko, judges of Minsk courts , deputies and other officials and businessmen.

The head of the European External Action Service, Josep Borrell, allowed the preparation of the fifth package of personal sanctions against Belarus.

“This was the fourth package of sanctions. I do not exclude that there will be a fifth. Everything will depend on the actions of those responsible for the situation in this country,” he said.

Borrell expressed confidence that the new sanctions will have a serious impact on the situation in Belarus, given that the blow will have to the economy of the entire country. The head of the European Council Charles Michel said that the EU will not rest until President of the Republic Alexander Lukashenko releases the detained opposition blogger Roman Protasevich.

Reaction of Minsk and Moscow

The new EU sanctions against Belarus represent interference in internal affairs and demonstrate lawlessness, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on June 23.

According to her, the purpose of the restrictive measures is to deliberately “bring down” the standard of living of ordinary Belarusian citizens. Russia is also in solidarity with its Belarusian allies in rejecting new illegal sanctions. In addition, Zakharova said that Russia will not leave without a commensurate response the inclusion of persons with Russian citizenship in the new package of Western sanctions against Belarus.

“Indeed, as noted in the commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, this borders on the declaration of an economic war,” she added. According to Zakharova, there is “nothing to say about human rights – there is not so much concern, but there is no understanding of true human rights.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus previously announced that an economic war is imminent, as well as that new Western sanctions against Minsk will not have the effect that the West is counting on.

“The retaliatory measures that the EU is forcing us to take can also negatively affect the areas of our interaction and, ultimately, the interests of citizens and companies of Western countries that have taken unfriendly steps towards our state,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said.