Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have agreed to expand their existing sanctions for Belarusian officials and added the country's information and sports ministers and police officers onto their blacklists on Friday.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told BNS the Baltic countries had jointly updated their lists with 28 names to maintain pressure on Alexander Lukashenko's regime.
“We made a coordinated decision with the Latvians and Estonians to expand the national sanctions,” the minister said. “We are taking both paths – the European and the national one. We see that the situation is not changing and the regime on its way out is pushing through a new reality, which is really not promising, so we need to maintain pressure.”
There are now more than 150 people the Baltic states' blacklists, according to Linkevičius, and they are banned from coming to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
The EU has also imposed sanctions on 59 people who are subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
Linkevičius says the Belarusian information and sports ministers were sanctioned because they imposed restrictions on the internet and constributed to persecuting athletes who criticise the government.
“The information and sports ministers are on the list. The information minister is linked to internet restrictions, and the sports minister is responsible for terrorising the sports community. It [the blacklist] also contains more police officers, including those who have taken part in violent crackdowns,” the minister said.