EU slaps sanctions on Lukashenko, his son and advisers

BRUSSELS — The European Union imposed sanctions Friday on the president of Belarus and 14 other officials over their roles in the security crackdown launched during protests of the country’s contested August presidential election.

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko seen in this file photo.
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko seen in this file photo
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The EU has added Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko and his son Viktor to its sanctions blacklist of Belarus officials, bringing the total to 59. The others added on Friday also include KGB secret police chief Ivan Tertel and President Lukashenko’s chief of staff Igor Sergeenko.

The EU rejects Lukashenko’s claim to have won re-election on Aug. 9 and deplores his crackdown on opponents. His son Viktor, 44, is a national security adviser.

EU headquarters said in a statement that Lukashenko was put on the sanctions list along with his son and national security adviser, Viktor. The sanctions ban listed individuals from traveling within the European Union and a freeze on their assets. EU citizens and companies also are forbidden from providing them with funds.

Protests have rocked Belarus ever since the Aug. 9 election, and more than 15,000 people in the country have been arrested. The official results returned Lukashenko to power with 80% of the vote and were widely seen as rigged, including by the EU. About 200 disabled people rallied in the capital Minsk on Thursday.

In its sanctions listing, the EU said that President Lukashenko “is responsible for the violent repression by the State apparatus carried out before and after the 2020 presidential election, in particular with the dismissal of key opposition candidates, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of peaceful demonstrators as well as intimidation and violence against journalists.”

The main opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, said she had attracted between 60 to 70% of the vote and was forced into exile in neighboring Lithuania immediately after the election.

— Agencies

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