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Belarus hit with UK sanctions for ‘abetting’ Russian invasion of Ukraine

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elarusian military chiefs are among those to be targeted as part of the UK’s first tranche of sanctions against Minsk for the role it is playing in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko’s administration “actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion” and should be made to feel the “consequences”.

Four senior defence officials and two military enterprises have been sanctioned with immediate effect under the UK’s Russia sanctions regime, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.

We are inflicting economic pain on Putin and those closest to him

The named individuals will be unable to travel to the UK and any UK-based assets will be frozen.

The decision affects the Belarus chief of the general staff and first deputy minister of defence, Major General Victor Gulevich, who is responsible for directing the Belarusian armed forces.

The Foreign Office said the Belarusian military has “supported and enabled the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

Others sanctioned include Major General Andrei Burdyko, the deputy minister of defence for logistics and chief of logistics of the Belarusian armed forces; deputy minister of defence for armament and chief of armament of the Belarusian armed forces, Major General Sergei Simonenko; and deputy minister of defence, Major General Andrey Zhuk.

State enterprises JSC 558 Aircraft Repair Plant and JSC Integral, a military semi-conductor manufacturer, have also been included in the economic strike, the FCDO said.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has announced that sanctions relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be extended to hit Belarusian military officials and organisations (Efrem Lukatsky/PA) / AP

JSC 558 provides maintenance and servicing to military aircraft at Baranovichi air base, from which Russian aircraft operated as part of the invasion, according to the department.

The Foreign Secretary said: “We are inflicting economic pain on Putin and those closest to him.

“We will not rest until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is restored.

“The Lukashenko regime actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion and will be made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin.

“There will be nowhere to hide. Nothing – and no one – is off the table.”

The move follows separate sanctions against Russia, including preventing designated Russian banks from being able to transact payments in sterling and have correspondent banking relationships with UK-based banks.

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