EU Weighs Belarus Sanctions at Sectors Close to Leader

European Union nations sketched out plans Thursday for new sanctions against Belarus, targeting economic sectors close to its authoritarian leader, as they sought to strike back at him for the diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist, Reuters reported. Meeting in Lisbon, EU foreign ministers vowed to continue ramping up pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko — whose disdain for democratic norms and human rights has made his country a pariah in the West. The country’s isolation has only deepened since Sunday, when Belarusian flight controllers told the crew of a Ryanair jet about a bomb threat and instructed it to land in Minsk, where journalist Raman Pratasevich was pulled off the plane. A list of EU sanctions in place against senior members of the Belarus government, including Lukashenko, “isn’t having the dissuasive effect we need,” said Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. Read more.