News Tip: EU Sanctions on Belarus ‘May Keep Protasevich Alive,’ Expert Says

Summary: The European Union has approved imposing sanctions on Belarus, including the ban on Belarusian flights over EU airspace, over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest an opposition journalist. Comments below from Bruce Jentleson, a Duke University professor of public policy and former State Department adviser, are available for use in your coverage.

“The EU Belarus economic sanctions have a better chance of having impact than most human rights sanctions,” says Bruce W. Jentleson, a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University.

“Unlike many sanctions that targeted states counter with domestic substitution and alternative trade partners, the ban on Belarusian flights over EU airspace and access to EU airports is much harder to offset. It doesn’t just impose economic costs, it makes for a sense of isolation that can feed into other popular discontent.”

“Still, don’t expect Lukashenko to just release journalist-dissident Dmitri Protasevich. Sanctions don’t make leaders say ‘uncle.’ But they may keep Protasevich alive, and gain time for diplomacy to work on trade-offs and compromise.”

Bruce W. Jentleson is a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Sanctions: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford University Press), and has worked on sanctions policy as senior adviser to the State Department Policy Planning Director (2009-11) and in other policy positions.

For additional comment, contact Bruce Jentleson at:

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