West imposes further sanctions on Belarus, including on its flag-carrier – Belarus retaliates
On 2 December 2021, the EU, UK, USA and Canada issued a joint statement on coordinated sanctions in response to continuing attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus.
In the EU, the statement led to the issuance of Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2124 amending the EU-Belarus sanctions regime, found principally in Regulation (EC) No 765/2006 (the Belarus EU Regulation). The Implementing Regulation imposes restrictive measures (including asset freezes) on an additional 17 individuals, mostly judges and border guards, and 11 entities – including the national flag-carrier airline “Belavia” as well as prominent tour operators perceived to have acted as facilitators in the orchestration of irregular migration across its borders with the EU. The changes mean that, EU restrictive measures on Belarus under the Belarus EU Regulation now apply to a total of 183 individuals and 26 entities.
In the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs, including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands), the UK has, in line with constitutional conventions, adopted the Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2021, which amends the Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020 (Belarus OT Order). The changes to the Belarus OT Order give effect to the joint statement recently signed by the UK and are also in line with recent amendments to the UK’s domestic Belarus sanctions regime made in 2021. The UKOT of Bermuda is subject to a domestic regime which is, once fully implemented, expected to be materially similar in effect to the position under the Belarus OT Order.
On the 6 December 2021, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced retaliatory measures responding to the Joint Statement referred to above. The measures include a ban on the import of a number of goods originating from the states applying the sanctions, restrictions on UK and EU air carriers, travel bans and other “non-public steps”.
EU’s press release can be found here.
UK’s press release and notice can be found here and here.
USA’s press release can be found here.
Canada press release can be found here.
The Belarus Foreign Ministry’s press release can be found here.