Sumary of EU moves to add airlines, others to Belarus sanctions list:
- BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday ratcheted up pressure on Belarus by agreeing to slap new sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and others accused of helping him wage a “hybrid attack” against the bloc using migrants.
- The 27-country EU has already imposed four sets of sanctions on the Belarus authorities and senior officials over the disputed election in August last year that returned Lukashenko to office and the security crackdown on peaceful protesters that followed.
- But as tensions mount on the Belarus border with EU members Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, the bloc’s foreign ministers extended those measures to add airlines, travel agents and others accused of helping to bring migrants to Minsk.
- “Today’s decision reflects the determination by the European Union to stand up to the instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes.
- We are pushing back on this inhuman and illegal practice,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
- EU headquarters said the bloc “will now be able to target individuals and entities organizing or contributing to activities by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the EU’s external borders.