BRUSSELS, February 28 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Union Council gave an official approval to new sanctions on Belarus.
It said that the sanctions applying to persons responsible for serious violations of human rights or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition were tightened against the backdrop of the continuing exacerbation of the situation in Belarus and 21 such persons were added to the list of those who were prohibited to enter the EU and whose assets would be frozen.
There are more than 200 names of high-ranking Belarusian officials, among them President Alexander Lukashenko, on the list at present. Assets of three companies related to the Lukashenko regime remain frozen, and sanctions on Belarusian arms exporters remain valid, the Council said.
A diplomat confirmed to Itar-Tass on Monday that the EU foreign ministers agreed to add 21 persons to the list. They failed to reach an agreement on businessman Yuri Chizh, the owner of FC Dinamo Minsk and head of the Triple Company importing and refining crude. Slovenia was strongly against applying the sanctions to him.
There is information that Chizh signed a 100-million-euro contract with the Slovenian construction company Riko, and the contract might be thwarted if the businessman is put under sanctions.
The initial list included 158 names, but was extended by the EU Council later several times.