The European Union approved sweeping new sanctions on Wednesday against Belarus as it supports Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions target military personnel and other Belarusian officials whom the EU alleged helped Russia’s invasion, a tweet from the French presidency of the EU said, adding that they focus on “certain sectors of the Belarusian economy, in particular the wood, steel and potash sectors.”
The EU also sanctioned Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a strongman who has sought to tie his country closer to Vladimir Putin.
“Lukashenko’s regime is complicit in this vicious attack against Ukraine. So we will hit Lukashenko’s regime with a new package of sanctions,” EU President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement Sunday, adding that they target “exports of products from mineral fuels to tobacco, wood and timber, cement, iron and steel.”
The sanctions came after Ukrainians alleged that some Russian troops invaded the country via Belarus, which lies to its north and Russia’s west. That prompted sanctions from the United States, which went so far as to close its embassy in the country as well.