Five Non-EU Countries Join Sanctions On Belarus

Five Non-EU Countries Join Sanctions on Belarus

BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th July, 2021) Five non-EU countries have aligned with the bloc's decision to impose sanctions on Belarus following the Ryanair plane incident, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

"The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this Council Decision. They will ensure that their national policies conform to this Council Decision. The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it," Borrell said.

In late May, a Ryanair flight en route from Athens to Vilnius had to make an emergency landing in Minsk over a bomb threat, which turned out to have been fake. Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, co-founder of a Telegram channel that Minsk has designated as extremist, and his girlfriend, who is suspected of publishing the private data of Belarusian security services officers, were detained during the stopover at the airport.

In late June, the EU officially slapped new sanctions on Minsk in response to the incident and "the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus, and the violent repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists." The restrictions prohibit exports of dual-use goods and monitoring, interception communication technologies to Belarus, and limit imports of oil products, fertilizers and goods for manufacturing tobacco products from the eastern European country, among other things.