Estonia bars entry to Belarusian president, 29 other high-ranking officials
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a list of Belarusian barred from entry to Estonia, in the wake of the controversial presidential elections in that country earlier in August. President Alexander Lukashenko himself is on the list, along with several other figures in the Belarus' leadership.
The list has been drawn up in conjunction with the International Sanctions Act, and the individuals, the ministry says, played a central role in both election rigging and violent crackdowns against protestors which followed the 66-year-old Lukashenko's return to office for a sixth term, on August 9.
The ban comes into force on Monday, August 31, and will remain in place until August 30 2025, the ministry says. The move was made concurrently with similar entry bans issued by Latvia and Lithuania, and sanctions against Belarus are also being drafted at EU level.
"With these sanctions, we are demonstrating that we are addressing the human rights violations in Belarus with utmost seriousness. At the same time, we consider it important not to punish the people of Belarus," foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu said via a press release Monday, stressing that Estonia supports the free will of the people of Belarus and their aspirations for democratic change.
The five-year prohibition of entry to the Republic of Estonia (in force from 31 August 2020 until 30 August 2025) applies to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, his son and security adviser Viktor Lukashenko, the minister of the interior, the minister of justice, the prosecutor-general, officials of from president's administration, members of the election committee, and law enforcement representatives.
The full list of individuals from Belarus barred from entering Estonia is here.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte