White House announces sanctions over Belarus' passenger plane interception

The White House said Friday the State Department had issued a level 4 “do not travel” warning to US citizens, telling them not to travel to Belarus. The FAA also warned US airliners to “exercise extreme caution when considering flying in Belarusian airspace”.

The US will also reinstate sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned companies, the statement said. The White House said it is also coordinating with the European Union and other allies to develop targeted sanctions against Lukashenka and members of his regime, “linked to ongoing human rights abuses and corruption, the 2020 election falsification and the May 23 events are . ”

“We call on Lukashenka to allow a credible international investigation into the events of May 23rd, to release all political prisoners immediately and to engage in a full and genuine political dialogue with leaders of the democratic opposition and civil society groups leading to the behavior of free and fair Presidential elections under the auspices and supervision of the OSCE, ”said the White House.

State Secretary Antony Blinken had previously condemned the actions of Belarus.

“This shocking act,” said Blinken am Sonntag, “which was committed by the Lukashenka regime, endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including US citizens.” Initial reports pointing to the involvement of the Belarusian security services and the use of Belarusian military aircraft to escort the aircraft are deeply worrying and require thorough investigation. “

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