UK imposes sanctions on Belarus following forced landing of Ryanair flight

The UK, in parallel with the US, Canada and EU, has imposed sanctions against 7 individuals and 1 entity from the Belarusian regime in response to the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega following the unlawful diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 in May 2021.

4 individuals and 1 entity have also been designated in response to the continued suppression of democracy and human rights in Belarus by Lukashenko and his regime.

Sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes against senior-ranking officials in the Belarusian regime and BNK (UK) Ltd, an exporter of Belarusian oil products. This move will significantly impact one of the regime’s main revenue streams. The sanctions send a strong signal to the Belarusian authorities that the UK will not tolerate those who repress human rights coming to the UK or using our financial institutions.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

The UK and our partners have today sanctioned those responsible for the continued suppression of democracy and human rights in Belarus.
The Lukashenko regime endangered the lives of airline passengers and crew in a shameful ruse to snatch Roman Protasevich.
We will hold the regime to account in co-ordination with our allies including through further banning travel, freezing assets and cutting off oil export revenue streams.

These sanctions are listed under the autonomous Belarus sanctions regime. The EU, US and Canada are imposing their own sanctions in parallel.

The UK is also developing plans for further measures targeting specific sectors of the Belarusian economy.

The UK has already imposed landmark sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko, his son and senior figures in the Belarusian government under the UK’s human rights sanctions regime in September 2020. The sanctions were imposed as part of a coordinated international approach with Canada, in a bid to uphold democratic values and put pressure on those responsible for repression.

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