On March 2, 2022, the European Council imposed targeted restrictive measures under Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/353 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/354 concerning actions that threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, upon 22 high-ranking members of the Belarusian military for their participation in the decision making and strategic planning that led to Belarus’s involvement in the Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. These sanctions were imposed in response to Belarus’s substantial support for Russian efforts against Ukraine that includes allowing Russia to fire ballistic missiles from its territory and store weapons and equipment in Belarus; enabling the Russian military’s transportation of personnel and weapons; providing refueling points for Russia and allowing its aircraft to fly in Belarusian airspace. The Council reports that on February 24, 2022 members of the Belarusian military were already listed in the same context. The restrictive measures imposed upon these individuals include asset freezes, a prohibition on making funds available to these individuals, and travel bans that prevent them from entering or transiting through EU territory.
The Council also introduced further restrictions against Belarus in the area of trade under Council Regulation (EU) 2022/355 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/356, that include restrictions on the trade of goods required for the production of tobacco products, mineral fuels, bituminous substances and gaseous hydrocarbon products, potassium chloride (potash) products, as well as wood, cement, iron and steel, and rubber products. The Council also imposed further restrictions on the export of dual-use goods and technology, and certain advanced goods and technology that may contribute to the Belarusian military and its technological, defense and security development.
These sanctions follow the conclusions issued by the European Council on February 24, 2022 that strongly condemn Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine and Belarus’s involvement. They are also in line with the package of measures announced by the High Representative on February 27, 2022, that provide equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and a number of Russian prohibitions, including a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and access to EU airports by all Russian carriers, a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank, the SWIFT ban for certain Russian banks, and a ban on broadcasts in the EU by state-owned media Sputnik’ and Russia Today.