Washington DC [US], June 21 (ANI/Sputnik): The US Treasury Department has designated 16 persons and five entities from Belarus, including the State Security Committee (KGB) and the press secretary of the Belarusian president, as part of a new sanctions package after the Ryanair incident in May and for alleged human rights violations.
"Today, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 16 individuals and five entities pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13405 in response to the Lukashenka regime's escalating violence and repression, including its reckless forced diversion of a commercial Ryanair flight and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich (Pratasevich) and his companion, Sofia Sapega (Sapega)," the Treasury Department said in a release.
The list of sanctioned individuals also includes the Belarusian Prosecutor General, the chairman of the KGB and the chairperson of the upper house of the country's parliament.
Another eight officials have been sanctioned for certifying the results of the presidential elections in August that the US government considers to be fraudulent.
Earlier on Monday, the European Union adopted the fourth sanctions package against Belarus, noting that the bloc has added 78 individuals and eight organizations to its sanctions list for allegedly endangering aviation safety and for detaining Pratasevich and Sapega.
In May, a Ryanair plane from Athens to Vilnius made an emergency landing in Minsk over a bomb threat that turned out to be fake. Pratasevich - founder of a Telegram channel that Minsk designated as extremist - and his partner Sapega were detained by the Belarusian authorities during the stopover. (ANI/Sputnik)