EU Court Upholds Sanctions Against Belarusian Airline Belavia

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Sanctions Against Belarusian Airline Belavia

The General Court of the European Union upheld sanctions against Belavia Belarusian Airline AAT on Wednesday, ruling that the carrier is backed by President Alexander Lukashenko and helped facilitate the illegal entry of migrants from the Middle East into the EU.

The European Council justified freezing Belavia’s assets because the state-owned airline operated flights from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey to Minsk. The court stated these flights supported Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime.

The airline also gained a “concrete benefit” from public statements by Lukashenko that Belavia would receive “all possible support” following the EU’s decision to prohibit Belarusian airlines from entering its airspace. This support was a factor in maintaining the sanctions, the court ruled.

EU Court Upholds Sanctions Against Belarusian Airline Belavia

Belavia’s assets have been frozen since December 2021, when the council declared it would not accept any attempt by third countries to use migrants for political purposes. The EU has adopted numerous restrictive measures since 2004 in response to the lack of respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Belarus.