UK, Canada slap sanctions on Lukashenko, his son
The measures include a travel ban and asset freeze.
The United Kingdom and Canada have imposed sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko with his son and six other Belarusian officials.
This is announced in a statement by the British government on September 29.
“The UK has sanctioned 8 members of the Belarusian regime, including Alexander Lukashenko, for human rights violations in Belarus after the rigged elections,” it said.
The new sanctions reportedly include a travel ban and asset freeze on eight individuals from the Belarusian regime, including Alexander Lukashenko, his son Viktor Lukashenko, and Igor Sergeenko, Head of the Presidential Administration.
Similar sanctions were imposed by Canada.
“The sanctions come into force with immediate effect,” the British government concluded.
Earlier, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania imposed sanctions on 128 Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko.
Recent developments in Belarus in brief
- On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus.
- The country’s Central Election Commission announced the final election results. In particular, 80.1% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 10.1% voted for his rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.67% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.2% for Andrey Dmitriev, and 1.14% for Sergei Cherechnya. Some 4.59% voted against all candidates.
- Thousands took to the streets to protest what many believe was a rigged vote count. Riot police violently cracked down on protesters.
- Belarus’ Ministry of Internal Affairs said about 7,000 protesters had been detained in different cities since August 9. On the evening of August 13, the authorities started to release detainees.
- On August 16, the March of Freedom, the largest protest in the history of Belarus, took place in Minsk. Hundreds of thousands of people joined in.
- On August 17, plants and factories across Belarus launched strikes.
- The Belarusian opposition created a Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power.
- The European Union declared non-recognition of the Belarus election results and reached an agreement to impose sanctions against Belarusian officials in response to vote rigging and the use of violence against protesters. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have already imposed an entry ban on 30 citizens of Belarus. Among them is the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.
- On September 13, law enforcement forces again brutally detained protesters during mass rallies throughout Belarus. They used force even against women.
- On September 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on Belarus. Ukrainian lawmakers said the presidential elections in that country were unfair. They condemned repression against protesters and vowed support for sanctions to be introduced by the European Union against Belarusian officials.
- On September 17, the European Parliament announced that Alexander Lukashenko should not be recognized as the president of Belarus when his term expires on November 5. MEPs also declared the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition is now an interim representative body of Belarusians.