The United States continues to promote efforts to hold Aleksandr Lukashenka’s regime in Belarus to account for its repression of the Belarusian people and their democratic aspirations, as well as its complicity in and facilitation of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Additional sanctions are one way to do that.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, has designated three entities and nine individuals, and identified one presidential aircraft as blocked property. OFAC also re-designated the Central Election Commission of Belarus and designated seven members of the Commission. The designations are part of a coordinated response by the United States, the EU, UK, and other close partners to the regime’s ongoing brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and civil society which began after the fraudulent 2020 presidential election.
But sanctions imposed on individuals and entities in Belarus are not only in response to Lukashenka’s cruelty against his own people. The implementation of sanctions is part of the United States firm resolve to promote accountability for Lukashenka and his regime’s continued facilitation of Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine by putting Belarusian air, land, and infrastructure at the Kremlin’s disposal.
“The authoritarian Lukashenka regime relies on state-owned enterprises and key officials to generate substantial revenue that enables oppressive acts against the Belarusian people,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “We remain committed to imposing costs on the Lukashenka regime for its suppression of democracy and support for Putin’s war of choice.”
Specifically, OFAC has designated two state-owned enterprises: Open Joint Stock Company Belarusian Automobile Plant and Open Joint Stock Company Minsk Automobile Plant.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the Department of State has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on an additional 14 individuals under Presidential Proclamation 8015 for their involvement in undermining democracy in Belarus. These individuals include regime officials involved in policies to threaten and intimidate brave Belarusians exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms at great personal cost.
The United States will continue to impose costs on the Lukashenka regime and those who support it for their repression of the people of Belarus and their democratic aspirations, the regime’s dangerous and destabilizing activity in the region, and its ongoing facilitation of Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine.