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Poland freezes assets of companies, individuals linked to Russian financial sector

The ministry specified that the 16 sanctioned individuals include "15 citizens of the Russian Federation and one Belarusian national"

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. The Polish government has decided to place the names of 365 Belarusian citizens on the national sanctions list, as well as to freeze the assets of 20 firms and 16 individuals with links to the Russian financial sector, the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration reported on Monday.

"The Minister of the Interior and Administration has decided to add 365 citizens of Belarus to the list of foreign nationals whose stay on the territory of Poland is undesirable. These persons will also be banned from entering the Schengen zone. Their funds and economic resources have been frozen. In addition, the minister decided to freeze the funds and assets of 20 organizations and 16 individuals, which are primarily associated with the Russian financial sector," the document said.

It specified that the 16 sanctioned individuals include "15 citizens of the Russian Federation and one Belarusian national."

According to the interior ministry, Warsaw’s move was prompted by a Belarusian court’s ruling to leave standing the prison sentence handed down against Andrzej Poczobut, a Belarusian citizen of Polish descent and journalist with "Polonia" Polish public television, as well as due to the attitude of the Belarusian authorities towards their political opponents.

The 365 Belarusian citizens added to the blacklist include 159 Belarusian parliamentarians, who have been sanctioned for the first time. The rest were already on the list. Thus, now all members of the Belarusian parliament are under Polish sanctions. The list also includes 76 judges, seven prosecutors, 32 regional administration officials, and 28 officers of security agencies. Twenty-three individuals on the list are representatives of Belarusian media, while 24 are athletes and another eight are cultural and academic figures.

Poczobut case

Poczobut was detained in the spring of 2021. In October 2022, the State Security Committee of Belarus listed him among persons implicated in terrorist activity. Earlier, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he considered a transfer of the convicted journalist to Poland possible if Belarusian opposition activists wanted by Minsk were remanded to Belarusian custody.

On February 8, the Grodno Regional Court sentenced Poczobut to eight years in prison, having found him guilty of public calls for actions aimed at harming the national security of Belarus, and distributing materials containing such appeals through mass media. He was also found guilty of intentional incitement of enmity and discord.

On May 26, the Belarusian Supreme Court dismissed an appeal of the journalist's sentence.