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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Regulatory Investigations and Financial Crime Insights

An expansion of global sanctions on Belarus

On 23 May 2021, the Government of Belarus diverted a Ryanair passenger jet to land in Minsk and detained two of its passengers – activist and journalist Roman Protasevich, and his partner Sofia Sapega.

In a joint statement issued on 21 June 2021, the UK, EU and US, in addition to Canada, expressed "deep concern regarding the [Alexander] Lukashenka regime’s continuing attacks on human rights, fundamental freedoms, and international law". An expansion of global sanctions on Belarus followed, the most wide-ranging of which were initially imposed by the EU to target sectors of the Belarusian economy.

On 9 August 2021, the Governments of the UK and US adopted further sanctions on persons and entities linked to the Lukashenka regime. The UK imposed further sector-based sanctions on Belarus, while a new US Executive Order authorises a wide range of additional sanctions designations at the discretion of the Biden Administration.

Although there is some overlap between the co-ordinated measures, there are also material differences. As a consequence, companies with a nexus to the UK, EU and US will need to have an understanding of all three sanctions regimes.

If you would like to learn more, please read our full briefing found here.