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UK Joins US, EU and Canada in Fresh Sanctions on Belarus Over Detention of Journalist

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (Reuters)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (Reuters)

The government said it had imposed travel bans and asset freezes against senior-ranking officials in President Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

Britain on Monday said it had joined the United States, Canada and the European Union in imposing fresh sanctions on Belarus after the detention of an opposition journalist.

The government said it had imposed travel bans and asset freezes against “senior-ranking officials" in President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, as well as oil firm BNK (UK) Ltd.

“The sanctions send a strong signal to the Belarusian authorities that the UK will not tolerate those who repress human rights coming to the UK or using our financial institutions," the foreign office said in a statement.

The United States also imposed sanctions on dozens of Belarusian officials in a coordinated move with Western allies to hit Lukashenko after the forced landing of a commercial plane.

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“These coordinated designations demonstrate the steadfast transatlantic commitment to supporting the Belarusian people’s democratic aspirations," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The Treasury Department said it was freezing any US assets and barring any transactions with 16 individuals and five entities including Lukashenko’s press secretary, Natallia Mikalaeuna Eismant.

The State Department said it was also banning travel to the United States by 46 Belarusian officials.

The United States already imposed a slew of sanctions on Belarusian state-owned companies in May after authorities forced a Ryanair flight to land in Minsk by alleging a bomb threat and arrested a passenger, 26-year-old opposition journalist and activist Roman Protasevich.

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