On 21 June 2021, the EU and UK announced coordinated sanctions against specified Belarusian individuals and entities. This follows the forced landing of a commercial aircraft in Belarus and subsequent detention of a Belarusian journalist, and suggests that the UK is continuing to align its sanctions regime with key allies following Brexit. The sanctions were further coordinated with the US and Canada.

The designated parties will be subject to asset freezes, whilst individuals will be subject to travel bans stopping them entering or transiting the EU and UK. Individuals and entities in these jurisdictions will also be prohibited from making funds or economic resources available to the designated parties or parties owned or controlled by them.

The additional designated parties target individuals and companies with close ties to President Lukashenko, his family and the Belarusian Government. This brings the total number of designated parties to 181 in the EU (166 individuals and 15 entities), and 108 in the UK (99 individuals and 9 entities).

Whilst sectoral sanctions have not yet been introduced, the EU is reportedly considering their introduction at a scheduled summit on 24 June 2021. These may be broad-based, and target Belarus’ exports in tobacco, oil and oil-related products, and potash. This is in addition to measures reportedly agreed by the EU to target Belarus’ financial system, which could include bans in trading Belarusian bonds and securities, and providing financial services to parties in Belarus.