BRUSSELS, June 21 (UPI) -- The European Union slapped more sanctions on Belarus, including an arms embargo that warned against internal repression.
Washington and the European Union admonished President Alexander Lukashenko in response to a post-election crackdown. Lukashenko, the only president of a post-Soviet Belarus, ordered the arrest of rival presidential candidates and 600 opposition figures after he secured another term early this year.
European officials hit four members of Lukashenko's inner circle with asset freezes and travel bans. Additional measures include an arms embargo on "materials that might be used for internal repression," reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The European Union has sanctions on close to 190 officials in Belarus.
The new restrictions follow appeals from Minsk to the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package to help protect against further economic turmoil.
Inflation is soaring in Belarus. Lukashenko said he would close the country's borders in the event of a financial crisis but suggested many of the economic concerns were overblown.
The Belarusian ruble is under pressure and the economy was hit hard by oil tariffs, leading to fuel rationing and other economic restrictions.