The United States is also imposing sanctions on Belarus
By forcibly landing a passenger plane, Belarus has maneuvered itself deeper and deeper into the conflict with the West. The United States is now imposing further sanctions. Ruler Lukashenko expects the support of neighboring Russia.
After the EU, the United States has now decided to allow Belarus to land a passenger plane in Minsk. In the coming weeks, fines against nine Belarusian state-owned companies will be reintroduced, said Jen Saki, a spokesman for US President Joe Biden. The United States, in consultation with the European Union and other allies, has also drawn up sanctions targeting Alexander Lukashenko’s “key figures in the regime.”
The US State Department also issued a travel warning to Belarus. Airlines have warned the FAA to be “extremely cautious” when flying over Belarus. On Monday, the EU agreed to new sanctions – a day after the forced landing. In addition, the European Commission has pledged a three billion euro support package to Belarus. But it must be implemented only when the former Soviet republic “begins a democratic transition.”
The clash between Belarus and the West came to a head last week as Lukashenko brought a Ryanair passenger plane to the ground to arrest one of his rivals. Opposition activist and blogger Roman Protashevich has been in custody ever since. His girlfriend Sofia Sabeka, who is a Russian citizen, was arrested along with him. The fate of the two is uncertain.
Lukashenko laments the growing pressure on the West
Under pressure from new sanctions, Lukashenko, who depends on Russia’s economic drops, met with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin on Friday evening. At a five-hour meeting in Sochi on the Black Sea, the politician, often criticized as “Europe’s last dictator”, complained about growing pressure from the West. Although the forced flight has nothing to do with landing, the state-owned airline Belavia is being punished by EU measures. Putin has repeatedly confirmed his support in the conflict with the West.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Dichanovskaya on Saturday called for solidarity with deported political prisoners in Lithuania. His supporters see the 38-year-old as the real winner of the presidential election last August, which is considered a lie. However, the 66-year-old longtime ruler Lukashenko was declared the official winner. His power machine acted brutally against the ongoing mass protests. Even then, the EU and the United States had already imposed sanctions.