The Honorable Foreign Minister Marc Garneau today announced new sanctions under the Law on Special Economic Measures in response to the persistent, serious and systematic human rights violations in Belarus. These new measures impose restrictions on key sectors of the Belarusian economy and minimize the access of Belarusian state actors to international finance. Target sectors include transferable securities and money market instruments, debt financing, insurance and reinsurance, petroleum products and potassium chloride products. These measures are taken in solidarity with those of the international partners.
A year has passed since Belarus’ fraudulent presidential elections in August 2020 that followed a campaign overshadowed by systematic voter suppression, including state-sponsored violence against demonstrators, activists and journalists. Since then, the Belarusian government‘s grave injustices against its own people have not stopped. The regime led by Alexander Lukashenko continues to muzzle the political opposition and the crackdowns on independent media have only escalated. The ruthless forced diversion of Ryanair flight 4978 into the arrest of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega was a particularly brazen attack on the independent media, but by no means the only one.
The regime has refused to enter into meaningful dialogue and there is no indication that it is ready to seek a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis. It is for this reason that Canada has taken steps today to impose these additional sanctions.
These measures will put further pressure on the Belarusian leadership and send a clear signal to the Belarusian people that Canada will continue to stand by their side to live peacefully and without fear of persecution in an open and democratic society.