EU Broadens Scope of Belarus Sanctions over Migrant Crisis at the EU-Belarus Border

Today – 15 November 2021 – the EU Foreign Affairs Council expanded the listing criteria for the Belarus sanctions regime in order to be able to target persons and entities involved in human trafficking and orchestrating the illegal border crossing of migrants.

In particular, the additional designation criteria will allow the EU to specifically targeting individuals and entities participating in - or contributing to - the state-sponsored human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated that the new sanctions will target “airlines, travel agencies” and others involved in the ongoing migrant crisis at the EU-Belarus border.

These new designation criteria have not yet been followed by immediate designations. However, it is expected that the list of specific persons and entities targeted by the new sanctions package will be announced in the coming weeks after due process of assessing additional designations has run its course.