US, EU, UK and Canada impose fresh sanctions on Belarus
June 21, 2021 at 16:11
Washington (CNN) The United States, European Union, United Kingdom and Canada imposed fresh sanctions on Belarus Monday in a coordinated response to the Lukashenko government's forced landing of a Ryanair flight and arrest of an opposition journalist last month as well as the "continuing repression" in the former Soviet state.
In a joint statement, the partners said they were "united in our deep concern regarding the Lukashenka regime's continuing attacks on human rights, fundamental freedoms, and international law."
"Today, we have taken coordinated sanctions action in response to the May 23rd forced landing of a commercial Ryanair flight between two EU member states and the politically motivated arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega, as well as to the continuing attack on human rights and fundamental freedoms," the statement said.
Pratasevich, a critic of Lukashenko, was arrested after his Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to land in Minsk.
The diversion of the flight and his arrest sparked international outcry, and Pratasevich's appearances on Belarusian state television have prompted opposition members and observers to suggest he showed signs of being tortured.
In a separate statement Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced visa restrictions on 46 officials "for their involvement in undermining or injuring institutions in Belarus, making these individuals generally ineligible for entry into the United States."