In addition to measures already announced in recent weeks, the White House reported that it is preparing a “list of select sanctions against key members of the Alexander Lukashenko regime” with the European Union.
White House spokeswoman Jane Saki said “the forcible diversion under the false pretext of a commercial flight between two EU member states, and the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich, is a direct challenge to international standards.”
The economic sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned companies, which were re-imposed in April after the suppression of pre-democracy protesters, will come into effect from 3 June. After the disputed elections of 2006, Washington banned any dealings with these companies, only to be lifted by the US Treasury in 2015, after some advances.
The White House has issued a warning advising its citizens to travel to Belarus. It also confirmed that the Department of Justice, including the FBI, is investigating the incident in collaboration with European peers.
Diplomat Josep Borel said yesterday, the European Union is studying the possibility of imposing sanctions against Belarus. Brussels asked airlines to avoid that country.