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Synchronization of sanctions

What is the approach to Belarus in the new EU sanctions package?

The NAM head Pavel Latushka about the 10th EU sanctions package, which supposedly envisages harmonization of sanctions policy against Russia and the Lukashenko regime.

Why does it matter?

Previously, the sanctions against Russia mainly concerned Russian imports, while the sanctions against the Lukashenko regime mainly concerned Belarusian exports. This discrepancy allowed the sanctions to be circumvented and allowed individuals affiliated with the regime to enrich themselves through grey-smuggling schemes.

The harmonisation of sanctions would close these possibilities. The proposed measures would bring the sanctions on the Lukashenko regime inline with many of the package of restrictions the EU has previously imposed on Russia. The new sanctions should affect areas such as:

  • Petroleum products, coal and steel;

  • Aviation sector;

  • Energy sector;

  • Investment;

  • Imports of goods, dual-use technology and luxury goods.

The changes will also allow the EU to prosecute anyone who helps bypass sanctions imposed on Belarusian individuals and legal entities.

Taken together, these measures will help close the sanctions loopholes against the Putin and Lukashenko regimes and make it more difficult for them to evade sanctions.

Politically it would mean recognising the equal guilt of the two dictators in the aggression against Ukraine, and practically it would reduce Lukashenko’s ability to continue to support the Russian war against Ukraine with resources, and to allocate these resources and funds to fuel the apparatus of repression against Belarusians.


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