US announces new sanctions against Belarus before 3rd anniversary of contested elections

US announces new sanctions against Belarus before 3rd anniversary of contested elections

Sanctions target 8 individuals, 5 entities for allegedly funding Belarusian government

By Iclal Turan

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US announced new sanctions Wednesday against Belarus ahead of the third anniversary of contested 2020 presidential elections in the European country.

The sanctions target eight individuals and five entities for allegedly funding the Belarusian government.

"This action targets several entities involved in the Belarusian regime’s continued civil society repression, complicity in the Russian Federation’s unjustified war in Ukraine, and enrichment of repressive Belarusian regime leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The agency’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted three state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the director and a subsidiary of one of the SOEs, a Government of Belarus (GoB) agency and four of its employees, three individuals facilitating sanctions evasion in support of Lukashenka’s regime and one aircraft identified as blocked property, said the Treasury Department.

Additionally, the US State Department is imposing visa restrictions on 101 regime officials and their affiliates “for their involvement in undermining or suppressing democratic institutions in Belarus," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all 1,500 political prisoners held by the Lukashenka regime," wrote Blinken, accusing the government of repressing Belarusian citizens, arresting peaceful protesters and community leaders, cracking down on opposition groups and civil society organizations.

"The United States will continue to support the people of Belarus in their pursuit of a democratic future in free Belarus where human rights are respected," he said.


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