EU eyes Belarus sanctions targeting sectors close to leader

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BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations are sketching out plans for new sanctions against Belarus that will target economic sectors close to its authoritarian president, as they seek to strike back at him for the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist. EU foreign ministers meeting in Lisbon on Thursday vowed to continue to ramp up the pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The latest plans for sanctions, which could target the country’s lucrative potassium industry among others, comes after Belarusian flight controllers instructed a Ryanair jetliner’s crew to land in the capital of Minsk on Sunday, citing a bomb threat. No bomb was found, but journalist Raman Pratasevich was detained. EU leaders have denounced the move as a state-sponsored hijacking.

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