The European Council yesterday decided to impose targeted restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, on 22 high ranked members of Belarusian military personnel in view of their role in the decision making and strategic planning processes that led to the Belarusian involvement in the Russian aggression against Ukraine. On 24 February, 20 members of Belarusian military personnel were already listed in the same context.
“Belarus’ involvement in the ongoing unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine will come at a high price. With these measures, we are targeting those in Belarus who collaborate with these attacks against Ukraine and restricting trade in a number of key sectors.” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Belarus is supporting the Russian military aggression against Ukraine – inter alia – by allowing Russia to fire ballistic missiles from the Belarusian territory, enabling transportation of Russian military personnel and heavy weapons, tanks, and military transporters, allowing Russian military aircraft to fly over Belarusian airspace into Ukraine, providing refuelling points, and storing Russian weapons and military equipment in Belarus.
Restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, which now apply to a total of 702 individuals and 53 entities, include an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the listed individuals and entities. In addition, a travel ban applicable to the listed persons prevents these from entering or transiting through EU territory.
Furthermore, in relation to Belarus, the Council yesterday introduced further restrictions in the trade of goods used for the production or manufacturing of tobacco products, mineral fuels, bituminous substances and gaseous hydrocarbon products, potassium chloride (“potash”) products, wood products, cement products, iron and steel products and rubber products. Further restrictions were also imposed on exports of dual-use goods and technology, and certain advanced goods and technology which might contribute to Belarus’ military, technological, defence and security development, together with restrictions on the provision of related services.
According to the Council, yesterday’s decisions complement the package of measures announced by the High Representative after the video conference of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers of 27 February. This package also includes the provision of equipment and supplies to the Ukrainian Armed Forces through the European Peace Facility, a ban on the overflight of EU airspace and on access to EU airports by Russian carriers of all kinds, a ban on the transactions with the Russian Central Bank, the SWIFT ban for certain Russian banks, and the prohibition for state-owned media Russia Today and Sputnik’ to broadcast in the EU.
In its conclusions of 24 February 2022, the European Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, and the involvement of Belarus in the aggression. It also called for the urgent preparation and adoption of a further individual and economic sanctions package also covering Belarus.
The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons and entities concerned, have been published in the Official Journal: