MIAMI – The US, UK, and Canada have issue new sanctions against Belarus after the Ryanair (FR) forced landing to apprehend opposition journalist Roman Protasevich at Minsk (MSQ).

The Biden administration issued a slew of sanctions against Belarusian individuals and entities in connection with the detention of the journalist aboard the FR flight.

The sanctions include visa restrictions imposed by the State Department on 46 Belarusian officials “for their involvement in undermining or injuring institutions in Belarus,” making them “generally ineligible” to enter the US. On its part, the EU Council approved the fourth package of individual sanctions against 86 Belarusian individuals and legal entities.

In addition, seven non-EU states join the EU in banning Belarusian air carriers. With their decision, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway have closed their skies for Belarusian airlines.

Buzz, Ryanair, Malta Air Boeing 737MAX 8-200 Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Statements from Officials

A joint statement by Canada, the EU, the US, and the UK was issued, stating that the countries were committed to supporting the “long-suppressed democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus.” The statement added that its authors would stand together to “impose costs on the regime for its blatant disregard of international commitments.”

“We are united in calling for the regime to end its repressive practices against its own people. We are disappointed the regime has opted to walk away from its human rights obligations, adherence to democratic principles and engagement with the international community.”

On his part, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the measures followed the FR incident and “the continuing repression in Belarus, including attacks on human rights, democratic processes and fundamental freedoms.”

UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab echoed Blinken’s statment by saying, “The UK and our partners have today sanctioned those responsible for the continued suppression of democracy and human rights in Belarus.”

Article sources: Politico, The National News,

Featured image: Belavia EW-457PA Boeing 737-800. Photo: Julian Schöpfer/Airways