The Council of the European Union today amended its sanctions regime in view of the situation at the EU’s border with Belarus, so as to be able to respond to the instrumentalisation of human beings carried out by the Belarus regime for political purposes.
The decision broadens the listing criteria on which specific designations can be based. The EU will now be able to target individuals and entities organising or contributing to activities by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the EU’s external borders.
“Today’s decision reflects the determination by the European Union to stand up to the instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes. We are pushing back on this inhuman and illegal practice,” Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “At the same time, we continue to underline the unacceptable ongoing repression by the regime against its own population at home, and we will respond accordingly.”
Today’s decision follows the European Council conclusions of 21 and 22 October 2021, in which EU leaders declared that they would not accept any attempt by third countries to instrumentalise migrants for political purposes, condemned all hybrid attacks at the EU’s borders and affirmed that it would respond accordingly.
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