Sanctions against Belarus
Description of the sanctions
1. Arms embargo, etc.
It is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export to Belarus arms and similar equipment as well as equipment that might be used for internal repression. It is also prohibited to provide technical or financial assistance related to such products. There are certain exceptions with regard to, for example, equipment for EU and UN crisis management operations.
2. Individually targeted restrictive measures (travel restrictions and freezing of assets)
The group of persons, entities and bodies who may be subject to sanctions is described in detail in the legal acts, but can be briefly summarised as follows: Persons responsible for (1) four notable disappearance cases in 1999 and 2000; (2) electoral fraud, serious human rights abuses, repression against peaceful demonstrations in connection with the parliamentary elections and referendum in October 2004; (3) electoral fraud and repressive measures against the opposition and civil society in connection with the presidential election in March 2006; (4) electoral fraud and repressive measures against the opposition, civil society and the media in connection with the presidential election in December 2010; (5) serious human rights abuses, repression of civil society and political opposition in general; and (6) persons and companies benefiting from or supporting the Lukashenko regime, for example through financing.
Four persons are currently covered by individually targeted restrictive measures. These persons have been listed since they are considered to be responsible for four notable disappearance cases in the period 1999–2000 (category 1 according to the summary above).
EU Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent those persons on whom sanctions are imposed from entering into, or transiting through, their territories. Exemptions may be made, under a special procedure as described in the legal acts, when there are pressing humanitarian needs or for participation in intergovernmental meetings where a political dialogue is being held that directly promotes democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus.
Freezing of assets
All assets and economic resources belonging to, or owned, held or controlled by persons or entities to whom sanctions apply shall be frozen within the EU. No assets or economic resources may, directly or indirectly, be made available to, or used for the benefit of, those on the list. Exemptions may be granted in certain situations for e.g. funds that are necessary to cover basic living costs.
Competent Swedish authorities
The Government has appointed Finansinspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority), Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency), the Inspectorate of Strategic Products and the National Board of Trade as the competent authorities for the examination of issues related to the restrictive measures concerning Belarus.
The Swedish Migration Agency and Sweden's missions abroad are responsible for applying the travel restrictions.
The Swedish Social Insurance Agency handles exemptions from the freezing of assets as regards natural persons, with the exception of routine administration (see Finansinspektionen).
The National Board of Trade handles exemptions from the freezing of assets as regards companies and other legal persons, with the exception of routine administration (see Finansinspektionen).
Finansinspektionen receives information about frozen accounts and approves permits for exemption from the freezing of assets in routine administration.
The Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls handles exemptions from the prohibition to supply equipment that might be used for internal repression and certain exemptions for services in connection with goods prohibited under the arms embargo.
Links to the relevant authorities are available below.