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Graphic shows timeline of Belarus sanctions.
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POLITIEK

Opeenstapeling sancties Belarus

By Duncan Mil

May 26, 2021 - EU leaders have agreed to prepare “further targeted economic” sanctions against Belarus following the forced diversion of a Ryanair passenger plane flying from Greece to Lithuania.

The EU has called for a ban on Belarusian airlines flying over EU territory and are urging EU-based airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace.

Each week 3,300 flights fly over Belarus, according to the aircraft tracking website Flightradar24. Belarus receives income from airlines that enter its airspace of €70,000 ($86,000) each day.

The EU imposed sanctions against Belarus in October 2020, following the disputed presidential election. Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory.

A travel ban and asset freeze against individuals associated with Lukashenko includes 88 individuals and seven organisations.

EU trade with Belarus state-owned firms -- a significant revenue source for Lukashenka -- may be subject to sanctions. According to Dun & Bradstreet, the state-owned Naftan oil refinery has annual sales of $3.77 billion. The Hrodna Azot chemical company generates $800 million a year.

Belaruskali, a potash fertiliser producer, could also find its $350 million revenue hit. Tougher sanctions require unanimity among the EU’s 27 member states.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 26/05/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press, Getty Images
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