The European Union is preparing sanctions against the national Belarusian Airline, Belavia. Ten leading airline officials from the Eastern European country will probably be put on the EU sanctions list, and their financial assets will be frozen, European diplomats told Reuters.
The airline, Belavia, already banned by several EU member states, will no longer be allowed to fly across the Union. Economic sanctions are also in the pipeline, but are likely to take longer to be imposed since they require a go-ahead from the European Commission's legal officers who have to be sure they cannot be challenged in the courts. Final approval may follow later this month. The EU is expected to agree on a smaller sanctions list for individuals and two entities by 21 June 2021 – when European Union ministers of foreign affairs meet – as well as economic sanctions.
The sanctions come after the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 and the arrest of the Belarusian journalist, Roman Protasevich, and his girlfriend by Belarusian authorities.