Canada imposes additional sanctions on third anniversary of Belarus’s fraudulent presidential elections

News release

August 9, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing sanctions against 9 individuals and 7 entities under the Special Economic Measures Act. These sanctions are part of the Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Regulations and are being imposed in response to the ongoing gross and systematic violations of human rights occurring in Belarus. They also target persons who are complicit in Russia’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in part through Belarus and with Belarusian support.

It has been 3 years since the fraudulent August 9, 2020 Belarusian presidential election, which followed a campaign marred by systematic voter repression, including state-sponsored violence against protestors, activists and journalists. Since then, the grave injustices carried out by the Belarusian government against its own people have not stopped.

Those sanctioned consist of government officials, judges, and associates of the regime, including the head of Belarusian state television, Ivan Mikhailovich Eismant. Today’s announcement also targets the Ministry of Defence of Belarus, the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, as well as military manufacturing and technology companies. Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the Belarusian regime’s support of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, which has killed and injured thousands, displaced millions, disrupted the global economy and exacerbated global problems such as food and energy security. We call on Lukashenko to immediately withdraw his support for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Today’s sanctions are being carried out in parallel with similar actions by likeminded partners and allies, including the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Canada will continue to work with its partners, to ensure that the voices of the people of Belarus are heard and to pursue accountability for those responsible for undermining democracy, supressing media freedom, committing human rights violations, and supporting Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.


“Canada stands with the Belarusian people in their fight to live peaceably and without fear of persecution in an open and democratic society. There can be no impunity for human rights abusers, and the Belarusian regime’s support for the Russian leadership’s brazen acts will not go unpunished. We will continue to work with our allies to collectively respond to these egregious and destabilizing acts.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Since 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 2,600 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova that are complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Many of these sanctions have been undertaken in coordination with Canada’s allies and partners.

  • To date, Canada has announced 13 rounds of sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act (Belarus) targeting a total of 190 individuals and 71 entities.

  • To date, Canada has announced over $3 million to support civil society organizations who are working to advance democracy in Belarus, with a focus on women and independent media.

  • Since January 2022, Canada has committed more than $8.9 billion to financial, military, humanitarian, development and immigration assistance for Ukraine.

Associated links


Emily Williams
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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