New US sanctions against Belarus

The United States has announced new sanctions against Belarus. White House Pierre Jen Zaki has Friday night US time Written statement Belarus announced that it would no longer do business with nine state-owned companies and that action would be taken against some key figures in President Alexander Lukashenko’s entourage in cooperation with the European Union and other allies.

Also read this commentary: Sanctions against Belarus are very simple

The sanctions include the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on Friday, May 23, and the subsequent arrest of journalist and activist Roman Pratasevich. The White House calls the actions of the Belarusian authorities “directly violating all international standards.”

Call for an international inquiry

The United States calls on Lukashenko to allow a “credible international inquiry” into the May 23 events, to release all political prisoners immediately, and to negotiate with democratic opposition and civil society groups to pave the way for free and fair elections.

At a European summit in Brussels earlier this week, EU countries also decided to introduce new sanctions against Belarus, but no individuals or entities have yet been determined by the European Commission.

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