UK Joins US, Canada In New Sanctions On Belarus Over Journalist's Arrest.

UK Joins US, Canada In Fresh Sanctions On Belarus Over Journalist's Arrest

UK will not tolerate those who repress human rights, the foreign office said. (Representational)

London:

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.

Britain said its sanctions were imposed separate to the EU, which it left last year, but in parallel to those announced by Washington, Ottawa and Brussels.

It follows outrage at the diversion in May of a Ryanair flight, which was forced to land in Minsk, upon which Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend were detained.

The British foreign office said the restrictions on BNK (UK) Ltd, which exports Belarusian oil products, would "significantly impact one of the regime's main revenue streams".

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "The Lukashenko regime endangered the lives of airline passengers and crew in a shameful ruse to snatch Roman Protasevich.

"We will hold the regime to account in coordination with our allies including through further banning travel, freezing assets and cutting off oil export revenue streams."

In September last year, Britain announced sanctions on human rights grounds against Lukashenko himself, his son and senior figures in the Belarusian government.

Earlier, the United States on Monday imposed sanctions on dozens of Belarusian officials in a coordinated move with Western allies to hit strongman Alexander Lukashenko after the forced landing of a commercial plane.

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

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