The EU Foreign Affairs Council strengthened on Friday sanctions against the regime in Belarus because of what it calls continued human rights abuses.
The Council added 12 persons to the list of those targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze. In addition, the Council froze the assets of 29 entities, which are controlled by persons due to their role in supporting the regime.
More than 200 individuals in Belarus are already subject to a travel ban and a freeze of their assets within the EU.
Moreover, the assets of three companies linked to the regime are already frozen while exports to Belarus of arms and material for internal repression are prohibited.
“I am extremely concerned about what is happening with the civil society,” said EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.
“We have been extremely clear about the regime in Belarus that they release political prisoners. We would like to engage with them when they comply with what we have asked them to do,” Ashton added.
The bloc has threatened more sanctions unless Minsk starts freeing political detainees.