On February 25, 2021, the European Council announced its decision to extend sanctions against high-level officials in Belarus for approximately a year. Sanctions that currently ban travel to the EU and freeze assets belonging to 7 entities and 88 individuals, including the President of Belarus Alexandr Lukashenko, was extended until February 28, 2022. These sanctions also prohibit persons and entities in the EU from, directly or indirectly, making funds available to the listed parties.
The Council imposed these restrictive measures following Belarus’s fraudulent presidential election in August 2020, after which Belarusian authorities used violence to suppress and intimidate peaceful protesters, members of the opposition, and journalists in that country. The sanctions were designed to financially target prominent businesspersons and companies that benefitted from and/or supported the Lukashenko regime.
The Council also emphasized the EU’s continued support for the Belarusian people and their quest for democracy, and promised to closely monitor the situation in Belarus and consider further sanctions if necessary.