Western sanctions blocked Annual exports of Belarusian producers to the EU and North America of 16-18 billion dollars. This was announced on Sunday, May 15, by the Prime Minister of Belarus, Roman Golovchenko, in an interview with the TV channel. Al Arabia.
“Due to the sanctions, almost all Belarusian exports to the European Union and North American countries were blocked.
That’s roughly equivalent to about $16-18 billion a year in relative terms,” he said.
According to him, Belarus interprets the sanctions “not only as a tool of oppression, but also as a hybrid aggression tool”. “This is probably the last stage before the already classic armed aggression,” he says.
“The purpose of the sanctions, contrary to their classical understanding, is to bring the country to its knees, to suffocate it economically and to enforce certain terms or conditions,” said Golovchenko.
Crisis in Belarus
The sanctions against Belarus followed mass protests that began in the country on the night of August 10, 2020, in connection with the announcement of the official results of the presidential elections, according to which incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won them. According to official figures, Lukashenka won 80.1% of the vote.
According to foreign exit polls, her main rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, received 71.28% of the vote, while she only received 10.09% of the votes.
In the first days of the protests, the extreme brutality of the law enforcement against the protesters was reflected to the public. Law enforcement used torture and other forms of ill-treatment en masse. Two people were killed and more than 200 injured in the first week of the protests. Strikes were held in Belarusian state enterprises demanding an end to the torture of detainees, bringing the perpetrators to justice and holding fair elections. On August 16 and 23, several hundred thousand protesters gathered in the center of Minsk.
However, the strictest sanctions were imposed by the USA, Canada, the UK and EU countries after the Boeing 737 landed in Minsk on May 23, 2021, about a year ago. The aircraft of the Irish airline Ryanair was operating the regular international passenger flight FR4978 on the Athens-Vilnius route, but three minutes after entering Belarusian airspace, the liner was allegedly mined, according to the Belarusian special services, the pilots said from a local dispatcher. A few minutes before leaving Belarusian airspace, the aircraft was deployed and sent to the Minsk national airport, accompanied by a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter.
After the plane landed, a task force of the Belarusian KGB detained two passengers: Belarusian opposition Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega. Information about the mining of the liner is not confirmed.