Poland has imposed new sanctions against 365 Belarusians, including more than 150 MPs, the Polish Interior Ministry announced on Monday. The ministry added that all those sanctioned would be banned from entering Poland and the Schengen area of free movement, and their assets would be frozen. "These people promoted the Belarusian regime and participated in legitimizing and supporting the repressive policy of the Minsk authorities," a statement said.
According to the ministry, this decision responds "to the maintenance of the draconian verdict in the case of Andrzej Poczobut", a Polish-Belarusian journalist, sentenced to eight years in prison for criticizing the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.
On Friday, a Belarusian court rejected his appeal and upheld the sentence.
Influx of migrants to Poland
Poland retaliated by imposing sanctions on 365 Belarusian nationals, including 159 MPs, dozens of judges, local officials, as well as pro-Minsk athletes and journalists.
The sanctions are also imposed on "persons responsible for organizing illegal immigration to Poland and the Baltic countries," according to the statement.
Poland accuses Belarus, Russia's main ally, of orchestrating the influx of migrants to Poland, and has erected a steel wall along the border to deter irregular crossings.