Marking the anniversary of the election in Belarus the West democracies consider fraudulent, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday that expands earlier introduced sanctions against the former Soviet Union country and its leader, The New York Times reports.
The White House released the relevant document and Biden’s statement explaining the new order and reiterating once again the US support for the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus.
The U.S. government called the measures a response to the President Alexander Lukashenko regime’s ongoing political repression, corruption, harmful activities and long-standing abuses that are suppressing democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus.
New sanctions issued Monday target Belarusian government officials and wealthy allies of authoritarian Lukashenko – 23 people and 21 entities- that the US Treasury calls Lukashenko’s “wallets,” and are involved in the oil, coal, tobacco and construction businesses, security sector, energy sector and potash sector.
Restrictions also apply to the fertilizer producer Belaruskali though, at the same time, the US authorized certain financial operations with the company until December 8.
The sanctioned individuals and entities are linked to the violent crackdown on the postelection protests, elimination of political opposition, the detainment of the opposition activist in May after forcing down of a passenger flight, endangering the international civil air travel in the process, which the US consider as extraordinary threat to its national security and foreign policy.
The list of sanctions also includes the Belarusian National Olympic Committee run by Lukashenko’s son Viktor that is considered a funds’ laundry and sanctions evasion tool.