Sanctions update on Belarus
On 21 June 2021, the governments of the EU, UK, US and Canada issued a joint statement on the decision to impose increased sanctions on Belarus in response to the 23 May forced landing of a commercial Ryanair flight between Athens and Vilnius and the politically motivated arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega, as well as to the continuing attack on human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The joint statement can be found here.
Extended EU sanctions
As far as the EU regime is concerned, the Council of the EU has introduced new targeted economic sanctions, including the prohibition to directly or indirectly sell, supply, transfer or export to anyone in Belarus equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of the internet and of telephone communications, and dual-use goods and technologies for military use and to specified persons, entities or bodies in Belarus. Trade in petroleum products, potassium chloride ('potash'), and goods used for the production or manufacturing of tobacco products is restricted. Furthermore, access to EU capital markets is restricted, and providing insurance and re-insurance to the Belarusian government and Belarusian public bodies and agencies is prohibited.
Lastly, the European Investment Bank (EIB) will stop any disbursement or payment under any existing agreements in relation to projects in the public sector, and any existing Technical Assistance Service Contracts. Member states will also be required to take actions to limit the involvement in Belarus of multilateral development banks of which they are members.
A total of 166 persons and 15 entities are currently subject to restrictive measures, which comprise an asset freeze applicable to both individuals and entities, and travel ban on individuals.
The EU press release can be found here.
Similar coordinated sanctions have also been imposed by the UK (see here), which are also applicable to the UK Overseas Territories, including Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.