On June 8, 2023, The Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 (“Regulations”) were laid before parliament. The Regulations significantly expand the UK’s package of sanctions targeting Belarus in response to the continued facilitation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by the Belarusian regime. The new measures expand the criteria pursuant to which persons can be designated under the regime, target Belarusian imports used to fund the Lukashenko regime, crack down on Russia’s efforts to circumvent sanctions, and seek to limit the spread of propaganda by Belarusian organisations in the UK. The new measures come into effect on June 9, 2023.
In a press release announcing the measures, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office stated that the Belarusian regime has facilitated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by permitting the use of its territory and airspace by Russia to conduct missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, as well as providing significant training and logistical support to Russian forces. Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, also underscored that the UK’s “support for Ukraine will remain resolute for as long as it takes and the UK will not hesitate to introduce further measures against those who prop up Putin’s war.”