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UK bans export of oil refining products and luxury items to Belarus in new sanctions package

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Amid the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, the UK moved to ban exports of oil-refined products, luxury goods such as British artwork and designer handbags to the Belarus. Additionally, Britain will ban the export of high-tech components such as those used in quantum computing to Belarus, a staunch Russian ally that is accused of aiding Moscow’s military in Ukraine.

According to an official statement from Downing Street, the British authorities have announced their intention to ban imports of Belarusian iron and steel and even to restrict the country’s access “to the UK’s world-class financial services sector” by prohibiting Belarusian companies to issue debt securities. The British government has said the sanctions against Belarus follow the country led by Alexander Lukashenko continuously facilitating Moscow’s “special” military operation in Ukraine.

The government led by Boris Johnson also announced that “transport sanctions” would be imposed on Belarus. It should be noted here that new restrictions imposed on Belarus by the UK on July 5 came in the new sanctions package to block trade in “goods worth around 60 million pounds”.

As the Russian-Ukrainian war continues to escalate for more than five months, Western countries including the EU, UK and US have stepped up sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Ukraine is plunged into a crisis linked to the war led by Russian forces after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his military operation in the neighboring country. Meanwhile, the British government noted: “The Belarusian regime actively facilitated Putin’s invasion, letting Russia use its territory to pinch Ukraine – launching troops and missiles from their border and flying Russian planes in their airspace.

“Lukashenko also openly backed the Kremlin’s narrative, saying Kyiv was ‘provoking Russia’ in order to justify Putin’s bloody invasion,” the UK government said.

Belarusian military will respond immediately if country ‘comes under attack’: Lukashenko

The UK’s latest sanctions on Minsk came just days after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned on Saturday that if Belarus was “attacked” the military would react immediately. Furthermore, he reiterated his full support for Russia in its war in Ukraine as part of Minsk’s commitment to a “union state” with Moscow. However, Lukashenko has previously stressed that the Belarusian military will not enter Ukraine and highlighted his country’s role in helping to create a peace deal instead.

But the Belarusian leader said his country would not tolerate attacks from Western countries. Lukashenko said: “Less than a month ago, I ordered the units of the armed forces to target what can now be called the decision-making centers in the capitals… Do not touch us – and we we won’t touch you.”

(Picture: AP)