Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been named subject of EU sanctions for his “record of intimidation and suppression of opposition,” according to a statement. More specifically, Lukashenko’s “habit of arbitrarily arresting and jailing political opponents has made him one of the world’s most repressive leaders,” according to the ECJ. From the release:
The EU sanctions will apply to Lukashenko’s personal assets and assets of his close associates, and his “sponsors and associates” in economic or public institutions, trade organizations, and other entities. In addition, the sanctions will apply to any eventual further curbs in trade with and investment in Belarus. The ban applies to EU nationals and organizations purchasing or providing financial, administrative, technical or consultancy services to Belarusian officials (including the ministries of defence and internal affairs and the central bank) or persons who are under sanctions. The EU will also limit the EU-exposed persons in its respective Member States from interacting in or promoting trade with or financing any related entity or group.
Belarus had been under potential sanctions for human rights abuses, a war on the country’s political opposition, and an apparently brutal crackdown on Belarusian journalists and independent bloggers during the mass protests earlier this year. Belarus remains an authoritarian, repressive, and increasingly poor land of vast reserves of gas and oil. An economic reform plan in the lead up to Belarus’s 2030 transformation should be a boon for the country and its limited but constant expansion into the gas and oil markets.