Britain Tightens Economic Sanctions against Belarus One Year after the 2020 “Fraudulent” Election

Britain announced on Monday that it would slap a new set of economic sanctions against Belarus as it aims to punish President Alexander Lukashenko’s administration, as opponents of the authoritarian Belarusian leader accused him of manipulating the presidential election in 2020 to extend his decades-long governance.

In a statement, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Monday that the sanctions will target trade with Belarusian state-owned companies, government finance and aviation.

The measures would also prevent Belarusian air carriers from overflying or landing in Britain and also prohibit British firms from extending technical assistance to Lukashenko’s fleet of luxury aircraft.

“These sanctions demonstrate that the U.K. will not accept Lukashenka’s actions since the fraudulent election,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement. “The Lukashenka regime continues to crush democracy and violate human rights in Belarus.”

The economic sanctions came on the same day Belarus marks one year since the contested presidential election in Belarus on August 9, 2020. The measures also indicated the escalation of punishment against the Belarusian officials involved in the forced landing of a Ryanair plane and the apprehending of dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich.

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