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Updated on: Sunday, May 30, 2021, 01:56 AM IST

US to sanction Belarus state firms after plane diversion

An activist, a member of the Belarusian diaspora in Ukraine, holds a placard depicting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a rally outside the Foreign Ministry in Kiev on May 28, held to demand the cutting of trade and diplomatic links with Belarus and the imposition of sanctions on strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Ukrainians are closely following the protests in Belarus, seeing them as a reflection of their pro-European Maidan uprising in 2013-2014. | Sergei Supinsky / AFP

An activist, a member of the Belarusian diaspora in Ukraine, holds a placard depicting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko during a rally outside the Foreign Ministry in Kiev on May 28, held to demand the cutting of trade and diplomatic links with Belarus and the imposition of sanctions on strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Ukrainians are closely following the protests in Belarus, seeing them as a reflection of their pro-European Maidan uprising in 2013-2014. | Sergei Supinsky / AFP

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Washington:

After the forced landing of a passenger plane in the Belarusian capital Minsk with a dissident journalist on board, the US government has said it will reinstate sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned companies next week.

The White House did not name the nine state-owned companies targeted by the sanctions, which are to be reinstated as of June 2, reports dpa news agency.

In addition the US "is developing a list of targeted sanctions against key members of the (President Alexander) Lukashenko regime associated with ongoing abuses of human rights and corruption, the falsification of the 2020 election, and the events of May 23", Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

The US measures come on top of EU sanctions against the authorities in Belarus.

Sanctions against Lukashenko's government were tightened after a flight from Athens to Vilnius was diverted to Minsk on May 23.

Dissident Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner were subsequently arrested at the airport in Minsk, to international condemnation.

A new legal instrument is being prepared to give US President Joe Biden more leeway to impose further punitive measures, Psaki said on Friday.

The State Department had issued a travel warning for Belarus, and the Federal Aviation Authorities warned passenger airlines to "exercise extreme caution when considering flying in Belarusian airspace".

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Published on: Sunday, May 30, 2021, 01:56 AM IST
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