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UK SANCTION HOW AND WHY THEY ARE USED - Case study 2: Belarus August 2021


In August 2021, the UK significantly strengthened its Belarus sanctions regime to impose new financial, trade and aircraft sanctions measures and add to the list of activities that may give grounds for a person to be designated.

The measures include restricting trade-in

  • Potash, tobacco and petroleum products,
  • Dual-use goods and technology, and
  • Interception and monitoring goods and technology;

prohibiting various financial dealings with the Belarusian authorities and other state actors; adding a measure to prohibit

  • The provision of technical assistance to aircraft linked to designated persons; and
  • Targeting the movement of Belarusian aircraft.

A new designation criterion was added covering 'providing support for or obtaining an economic benefit from the Government of Belarus'.

  • See the Explanatory Memorandum for the Belarus Regulations for more information.

The UK adopted these additional sanctions measures

  • To further encourage the Government of Belarus to respect democratic principles and institutions,
  • The separation of powers and the rule of law in Belarus,
  • Refrain from actions, policies or activities which repress civil society in Belarus, comply with international human rights law, and respect human rights.

These new measures followed

  • Designations by the UK on 21 June 2021 in close coordination with the US, Canada and EU, of
    • 7 individuals and one entity from the Belarusian regime in response to the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega following the unlawful diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 in May 2021.
  • One further designation under the Belarus regime was made on 9 August 2021, and
  • An additional package of 9 designations followed on 2 December 2021,
    • Which included 8 Belarusian individuals responsible for repression and human rights violations, and
    • An asset freeze on OJSC Belaruskali, one of the world's largest potash fertiliser producers.