Seven non-EU member states have joined the EU sanctions against Belarus on Friday.
Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Ukraine have reacted in unison with the 27 EU member states in sanctioning the Belarus government for its violent response to protests following the disputed August election that reconfirmed president Aleksandr Lokashenko, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell announced in a statement on November 20.
One day earlier, the EU extended its previous sanctions against Belarus 50 officials, including Lukashenko himself. The new sanctions included over 20 institutions, oligarchs and their companies. Starting from mid-December, they will not be able to get a travel visa to any EU member state, and their assets will be frozen.
Protests erupted in Belarus after the August 9 presidential election. Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for over two decades, won by over 80 percent but protesters believe the regime rigged the election.
The Belarus police responded violently by arresting thousands of protestors, while a number of protesters have been killed since then.
Several leaders of the opposition, including Lukashenko’s rival in the last election, have fled the country, while others have been arrested.