Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed a decree introducing retaliatory sanctions against foreign private individuals and legal entities, the presidential press service reported on Tuesday.
"The decree provides for an introduction of a ban on importing certain categories of goods as well as on importing work (services) performed by legal entities and private individuals of states that undertook special measures (sanctions) regarding Belarusian legal entities or private individuals," the press service reported.
Specific targets of Belarusian sanctions were not indicated. If necessary, the list will be established by the Council of Ministers. The document was approved in order to ensure security and protection of national interests of Belarus, TASS reports.
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests.
Against this background, the West imposed sanctions and other restrictions against Belarus. The European Union announced that in reaction to political events in Belarus it introduced visa sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko and other top officials. Additionally, the EU introduced restrictive measures against the Presidential Property Management Department, the Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant, the 140 Repair Plant Joint Stock Company, the Agat Electromechanical Plant, Beltechexport, Synesis and Dana Holdings.