Canada and the United Kingdom: Sanctions imposed on Lukashenko

Canada and the United Kingdom: Sanctions imposed on Lukashenko

The pioneers are not the EU, but Canada and the United Kingdom: both countries have banned President Lukashenko and other government officials from entering and freezing assets.

The United Kingdom and Canada have imposed sanctions on Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, his son and six other government officials. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that they have been banned from entering the country and that the property of those affected will be frozen.

“The window of opportunity is closing to affect events in Belarus,” Raab told Reuters during a visit to Seoul, stressing:

“We believe it is time to act.”

Human rights violations and electoral fraud must have consequences. This is a “clear signal” to the “violent and fraudulent regime” in Belarus that both countries are “not accepting the results of these false elections”.

EU sanctions on Cyprus are failing

EU sanctions over the 9 August presidential election have so far failed due to opposition from Cyprus. The head of the German Foreign Ministry, Heiko Maas, brought repressive measures into the discussion – also against President Lukashenko. This is especially supported by the countries of Eastern Europe.

Many states do not recognize Lukashenko’s re-election. Since the vote in early August, tens of thousands of people have been protesting against Belarus’s longtime ruler. Police are cracking down on protesters and hundreds have been arrested.

Belarus or Belarus?

The state of “Republic of Belarus” is generally known as Belarus – but this translation is misleading. The name “Belarus” is a reference to Western Russia, part of the medieval Slavic empire of Kievan Rus.

Historically obsolete names such as “Belarusian” during the National Socialist era and “Belarusian SSR” during the Soviet Union are painful for the 9.4 million inhabitants of the state, which has been independent since 1991, and remind them of the painful times of foreign rule.

They mostly refer to their country as Belarus and to themselves as Belarusians because they emphasize their independence – especially from neighboring Russia. At the diplomatic level, the name “Belarus” has long been used in German-speaking countries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also speaks of the “Republic of Belarus”. It is increasingly used by the German news media – and the population therefore calls it “Belarusians”, not “Belarusians”.

Deutschlandfunk informed about this topic on September 29, 2020 at 16:00.


Mark James

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