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Gift to Lukashenko on 23 February

All those mentioned in the NAM communication to the ICC as persons involved in the illegal transfer of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Belarus have been placed on the EU and US sanctions lists

Today the European Union published a 13th package of sanctions against Russia. The EU sanctions include the NGO "Dolphins," Aleksei Talai Foundation, as well as the leaders of these organisations - Olga Volkova and Aleksei Talai, and Dmitri Shevtsov - general secretary of the Belarusian Red Cross Society, as well as Dmitri Demidov - chairman of Navapolatsk City Executive Committee. Recall that in June 2022, Belaruskali CEO Ivan Golovatii fell under the EU sanctions.

Aleksei Talai, as well as State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Dmitri Mezentsev, is now also under U.S. sanctions. The imposition of sanctions actually fixes the unlawfulness of the transfer of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Belarus, while we, in turn, continue to seek an ICC warrant. Lukashenko is not on this sanctions list only because something more is being prepared for him.

The EU has also adopted blocking restrictions against Lukashenko's military-industrial complex: JSC Peleng, JSC "2566 plant for repair of radio-electronic weapons" and director of this enterprise Valery Shatilo, JSC "Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant" and director of this plant Pavel Sluchak are under sanctions. Earlier, we sent our European partners proposals on a number of Belarusian military-industrial complex enterprises, which work for the needs of the Russian army, with justifications for imposing restrictions. Among them, for example, was Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant, which is now included in the 13 EU sanctions package against Russia, as well as 558 Aircraft Repair Plant in Baranavichy, which, like its director Pavel Pinigin, is now under U.S. sanctions.

Unfortunately, these sanctions do not include a complete ban or restriction on the transit of sanctioned goods through Belarus and Russia, nor do they include significant financial and sectoral sanctions, which are the most effective among other sanctions instruments.

Thus, we have repeatedly informed our European partners about the need to harmonize trade sanctions against Russia and the Lukashenko regime, as the difference in these restrictions allows both regimes, both in Minsk and Moscow, to successfully evade the adopted sanctions measures. Lukashenko's regime is 12 times less restricted than Russia's, making it a huge window for the Kremlin to evade sanctions. We gave examples of such evasion in our mini-investigation "What do EU statistics reveal or what is the purpose of sanctions harmonization?".

Another problem is "false" transit. For example, in 2022-2023, goods worth more than 10 billion euros passed through Belarus to Russia. Examples of "false" transit to Russia with the help of intermediaries from Belarus and Kazakhstan were uncovered in a joint investigation by "The Bureau", "Verstka" and the international Centre for Corruption and Organised Crime Research (OCCRP).

In order to stop circumventing sanctions through third countries, transit through Belarus and Russia to third countries should be either completely stopped (at least for critical goods for the military-industrial complex) or restricted through trade quotas.


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