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An urgent and harsh response to Lukashenka's terror is needed

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Harsh direct and indirect sanctions against the Lukashenka regime are urgently needed — a terrorist regime in the heart of Europe can no longer be ignored

The hijacking of the Ryanair plane and kidnapping of Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend is an act of international terrorism. We call on EU countries, the US, Canada, Ukraine, and other partners as well as international institutions and companies to join sanctions and take decisive action against the dictatorship. Lukashenka poses a threat not only to the citizens of Belarus, but also to the whole world.

The National Anti-Crisis Management calls for immediate action:
  • The European Union to join US sanctions against the Belarusian petrochemical industry;

  • initiate procedures to recognize the Lukashenka regime as terrorist;

  • disconnect Belarusian state-owned banks from the international SWIFT system, as well as from the international payment systems Visa and MasterCard;

  • foreign banks to close the correspondent accounts of Belarusian state-owned banks;

  • investment funds to submit their Belarus government bonds for early redemption and renounce any relationship with the Lukashenko regime; investment banks that participated in the bond issue to invalidate the summer 2020 issue. Belarus' Eurobonds have already collapsed to the level of August 2020;

  • expel Belarus from Interpol and the International Civil Aviation Organisation;

  • suspend flights by all global airlines over Belarus and suspend ground transit;

  • foreign companies — Yara, Siemens, tobacco companies (British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris) and others — to stop all cooperation with Belarusian state-owned enterprises without waiting for sanctions;

  • to review the credit rating of Belarus.

We welcome the prompt statements of the international community and actions already taken. We insist on strong action by countries, international institutions and companies to stop the terror orchestrated by Lukashenka. Strong and urgent direct and indirect sanctions are critical to save the lives of political prisoners, end the violence, and hold new free elections. The news of the last week — the death of Vitold Ashurok, the blocking of TUT.BY and the detention of journalists, the seizure of a plane and the kidnapping of Roman Protasevich — are the consequences of the world community’s slow response to the illegitimate Belarusian authorities.

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