To Get at Lukashenko, Punish His ‘Moneybags’

09.06.2021

Принуждение к посадке ирландского самолёта в Минске 23 мая стало настоящим пренебрежением международными нормами со стороны местных властей. Европейские страны немедленно отреагировали, запретив своим самолётам летать в воздушном пространстве Беларуси. Однако этих мер может быть недостаточно для того, чтобы оказать существенное влияние на режим Лукашенко. Санкции также нужны и в отношении источников доходов власти. Джон Харди рассказывает о мерах, которые необходимо принять, чтобы дать адекватный отпор Лукашенко

The European Union’s ban of the Belarusian state-owned airline from its territory, which went into effect overnight last Friday, is just the latest punitive measure by the West against Minsk. The EU and United States are rightly developing various new sanctions after Belarusian authorities hijacked Ryanair flight 4978 traveling between Athens and Vilnius, Lithuania, on May 23 in order to arrest Roman Protasevich, an independent Belarusian journalist who had fled the regime but was onboard the flight.

The problem is that minor reprisals are unlikely to impress Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko. To be effective, the Western response must go beyond symbolic sanctions by inflicting real pressure on the regime while finding tangible ways to help the Belarusian people.

In addition to banning Belarusian airliners and calling on EU-based carriers to avoid Belarus, the European Union says it will also sanction those responsible for the hijacking and impose targeted economic sanctions to squeeze the Lukashenko regime’s finances. The White House likewise said it will suspend a 2019 air services agreement with Belarus and discourage travel to or through Belarus. The Biden administration is also coordinating with European allies to develop targeted sanctions against Lukashenko regime officials and will craft a new executive order expanding the administration’s authority to sanction “elements of the [Lukashenko] regime, its support network, and those that support corruption, the abuse of human rights, and attacks on democracy.”

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