EU to broaden sanctions on Belarus on Monday

In a statement the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, on Monday EU foreign ministers will widen sanctions on Belarus to include airlines and travel agencies involved in bringing migrants to the bloc’s border.

The EU has accused Belarus of weaponizing migrants, pushing thousands of them into Poland and other neighbouring EU states in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Minsk.

The EU is also considering imposing sanctions on Belarus’ main airport in an attempt to make it more difficult for airlines to transport migrants into the EU.

The bloc’s foreign ministers are scheduled to meet later today.

“We will give the green light to extending the legal framework of our sanctions against Belarus so that it can be applied to everyone who participates in smuggling migrants to this country,” said Borrell.

He went on to add, executives at airlines and travel agencies could be hit with travel bans and asset freezes in the European Union.

Around government officials from Belarus are thought to be involved in the migrant pushing crisis; sanctions could also be imposed on them, said Borrell.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is already under international sanctions for cracking down on protests, has threatened to retaliate against any new sanctions.

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