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EU, UK, US, Canada, roll out joint statement on sanctions against Minsk

In particular, the sanctions cover Belarusian Presidential spokeswoman, State Security Committee head, Council of the Republic Speaker and Defense Minister

BRUSSELS, June 21. /TASS/. The EU, Canada, the UK and the US presented a joint statement on imposition of sanctions against Belarus, published on the EU website Monday.

"Today, we have taken coordinated sanctions action in response to the 23 May forced landing of a commercial Ryanair flight between two EU member states and the politically motivated arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega," the statement reads.

The sides urged Belarus to "cooperate fully with international investigations into the events of 23 May", and "enter into a comprehensive and genuine political dialogue between the authorities and representatives of the democratic opposition and civil society, facilitated by the OSCE."

On Monday, the EU expanded its sanctions against Belarus, adding 78 persons and 8 companies to the list. The US sanctioned 16 persons and six companies, while the UK sanctioned 11 people and two organizations. Canada imposed sanctions against 17 persons and fiver Belarusian companies.

In particular, the sanctions cover Belarusian Presidential spokeswoman Natalia Eismont, State Security Committee (KGB) head Ivan Tertel, Council of the Republic Speaker Natalia Kochanova and Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin.

The list of companies covered by the sanctions includes Belaeronavigatsia, a state-owned company, tasked with Belarusian air traffic control.