Britain imposed sanctions on Belarus’s potash and petroleum product exports on Monday in an attempt to put pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko, who swiftly retorted that London should “choke on” the new measures.
So far Western sanctions have done little to persuade Lukashenko, in power in the former Soviet republic since 1994, to change course from a crackdown on his political opponents.
The British sanctions, which prohibited the purchase of transferable securities and money-market instruments issued by the Belarusian state and its state-owned banks, are the latest sanctions imposed by the West over Lukashenko’s crackdown.
The package also includes measures to prevent Belarusian air carriers from overflying or landing in the United Kingdom and a prohibition on the provision of technical assistance to Lukashenko’s fleet of luxury aircraft.
State-owned Belaruskali is the world’s top potash producer and accounts for a fifth of global potash trade.
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