Belarus hit with UK sanctions for role in Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A satellite image shows ground forces equipment and convoy in Khilchikha, Belarus. Credit: Maxar Technologies

Belarus is being hit with a tranche of UK sanctions for aiding Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss said Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko’s administration “actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion” and should be made to feel the “consequences”.

Leading Belarusian military figures are among those who have been sanctioned with immediate effect under the UK’s Russia sanctions regime, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.

The named individuals will be unable to travel to the UK and any UK-based assets will be frozen.

The Foreign Office said the Belarusian military has “supported and enabled the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Among those to be targeted are the Belarus chief of the general staff and first deputy minister of defence, Major General Victor Gulevich, who is responsible for directing the Belarusian armed forces.

Others sanctioned include Major General Andrei Burdyko, the deputy minister of defence for logistics and chief of logistics of the Belarusian armed forces; deputy minister of defence for armament and chief of armament of the Belarusian armed forces, Major General Sergei Simonenko; and deputy minister of defence, Major General Andrey Zhuk.

State enterprises JSC 558 Aircraft Repair Plant and JSC Integral, a military semi-conductor manufacturer, have also been included in the economic strike, the FCDO said.

A long-range Russian bomber patrols in Belarus air space Credit: /AP

JSC 558 provides maintenance and servicing to military aircraft at Baranovichi air base, from which Russian aircraft operated as part of the invasion, according to the department.

Ms Truss said: “We are inflicting economic pain on Putin and those closest to him.

“We will not rest until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is restored.

“The Lukashenko regime actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion and will be made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin.

“There will be nowhere to hide. Nothing – and no one – is off the table.”

The move follows separate sanctions against Russia, including preventing designated Russian banks from being able to transact payments in sterling and have correspondent banking relationships with UK-based banks.

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It is designed to cut Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, out of the UK’s financial markets.

A ban has also been enacted on a range of exports critical to the maintenance and development of Russia’s military and strategic interests.

It is being applied in close alignment with the US, European Union and other partners to collectively cut off much of Russia’s high-tech imports, with the intention of constraining Russia’s future military-industrial and technological capabilities.

The Belarus sanctions are on top of those already applied on Minsk by the UK since 2020.

More than 100 people and organisations have previously been targeted in response to the fraudulent elections in Belarus and the “litany of abhorrent acts and human rights violations that the Lukashenko regime continues to commit”, the FCDO has said.