– Norway today joined the EU’s new sectoral sanctions against Belarus in response to serious human rights violations by the country’s authorities, said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The situation in Belarus is worsening with the detention of opposition activists, harassment of human rights defenders and the silence of independent media. According to human rights organizations, there are over 500 political prisoners in Belarus. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to stop their human rights violations.
Norway has joined the fourth round of restrictive EU measures against Belarusian officials and entities, as well as recently adopted EU measures against key sectors of the Belarusian economy. These include restrictions on the trade in goods of repression, certain dual-use goods, petroleum products and goods used in tobacco production. These sectors bring high revenues to the Belarusian state and thus to the anti-democratic regime of President Lukashenko. The Norwegian rules on specific measures against Belarus are updated with the latest additions.
– These sectoral sanctions demonstrate the determination of Norway and its close European partners to respond vigorously to serious human rights violations in Belarus. Instead of continuing its failed policy, the regime must free all political prisoners and start a dialogue with the democratic forces, says Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide.