EU sanctions are to be imposed against 12 individuals and 29 companies connected to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. This decision on putting more pressure on Belarusian authorities was made by foreign ministers of all 27 member states of the European Union.
Friday news has been already reflected in appropriate documents published on 24 March. Being on a “black list” means ban on crossing border of the EU countries and, in case of businessmen, freezing assets within the Union’s territory.
Sanctions from 23 March are also aimed against Yury Chyzh, a Belarusian businessman who was spared at the previous meeting of the Council thanks to Slovenia’s veto. Chyzh is currently building, together with Slovenian Riko group and for several million dollars, a 5-star “Kempinsky” hotel in the centre of Minsk. Yet, the development of this investment will be continued, for sanctions do not apply to Belarusian companies that Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia – countries most sceptical towards undertaking more drastic actions – consider of strategic significance to domestic business.
The appraisal of sanctions still can differ among EU officials. Prior to the EC meeting, Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski shared his critical view with journalists that he does not harbour high hopes for sanctions, but they are a way to show solidarity with Belarusian citizens and European disapproval for their authorities’ actions. His Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt said that the EU policy towards Belarus became stricter and Lukashenko had it coming.
Translated by KD