The US Department of the Treasury announced, in coordination with the EU, Canada and the United Kingdom, the imposition of another series of sanctions against Belarus. Restrictions were introduced on 20 people associated with the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, including his son Dzmitry, and on 12 state-owned companies and institutions. Restrictions also apply to trading in new Belarusian debt.
“These sanctions confirm the commitment of the US authorities to charge the Lukashenka regime for enabling corruption, violating human rights, inhuman use of vulnerable people and organizing irregular migration, and attacks against democratic freedoms and international norms,” the ministry said in a statement.
The US chief of diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said the moves showed “the unwavering determination of the US to act in the face of a brutal regime that increasingly represses Belarusians. it undermines peace and security in Europe“.
Blinken also praised Poland, Lithuania and Latvia for their “response to the migration crisis triggered by the Lukashenka regime at their borders”.
Washington restrictions prohibit “all transactions, financing, and other dealing in new debt with a maturity greater than 90 days.” The prohibition covers both primary and secondary market transactions.
The sanctions also affected the potash companies associated with the regime, the Belarusian Potassium Company, Sławkalij, Agrorozkwit, companies from the Belarusian defense sector Biełtecheksport, AGAT, Kidma Tech and Gardserwis, as well as the Belarusian TransAVIAexport airlines, together with their planes.
Among the persons subject to sanctions there are, among others son of Lukashenka – Dzmirtij, chairman of the Presidential Sports Club. Thus, he joined his father and brother Wiktar on the blacklist. Most of the other people with sanctions are members of the security apparatus responsible for the transfer of migrants from the Middle East to the border with Poland and Lithuania.
US sanctions were announced simultaneously with new rounds of restrictions imposed by the European Union, Canada and the UK.
“The Treasury Department will continue to cooperate with the international community to respond to repression, corruption and human rights violations by the Lukashenka regime,” the ministry announced.
Canada has imposed new sanctions on Belarus, pointing to the country’s continued violation of human rights and migration problems.
Sanctions were imposed on 24 persons and seven entities: Tsentrkurort, Presidential Sports Club, Gardservis (formerly BelSecurityGroup), BelTechExport, Peleng JSC, 140 Repair Plant and AGAT Electromechanical Plant.
“The Belarusian regime must answer for its actionsthat affect both the internal and external situation. Together with its international partners, Canada is opposed to Belarus’s actions to silence political dissidents and destabilize the region. We will not allow Lukashenka’s regime to continue to breach international obligations without consequences. Human rights are not up for discussion, “said Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, quoted in the press release.
The United Kingdom imposed another, already fifth, package of sanctions on Belarus, which – as indicated – is a reaction to the constant disregard for international law by the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the continued violation of fundamental freedoms and human rights.
As part of the new British sanctions package Belaruśkalij’s assets were frozen, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of fertilizers based on potassium chloride (potash) and an important source of income and foreign currency for the Lukashenka regime.
Sanctions, consisting in freezing assets and prohibiting entry to the UK, 8 people were also covered – five propaganda officials who played a key role in spreading disinformation in Belarus, a high-ranking official responsible for the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition, and a judge and assistant prosecutor who are responsible for numerous politically motivated sentences against journalists, activists and peacekeepers demonstration.
Since the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020, The UK has already imposed sanctions on over 100 people and entities, responsible for their falsification and the repression and violations of human rights that have continued since then. It has been indicated that they are directed in such a way as to put pressure on Lukashenka, state institutions and people around him, but to minimize, as far as possible, any unintended consequences for Belarusian society.
“Britain believes in freedom of expression, free press and freedom of association. We will not look away as opposition members, journalists and activists continue to be beaten, imprisoned and killed or forced into exile. These sanctions continue to target important sources of income for the Lukashenka regime. and impose restrictions on those responsible for some of the worst anti-democratic acts in Belarus. Britain and our allies will always stand by the rule of law and hold to account those who undermine freedom, democracy and human rights, said British Foreign Minister Liz Truss .
The Global Afairs Canada communiqué (GAC – Ministry of Foreign Affairs) emphasized that from August this year, when the previous sanctions were imposed, the situation in Belarus has worsened, arrests are ongoing and the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and freedom of association are being curtailed.
“It also became clear that the regime of Lukashenka organizes illegal migration across its borders with the European Union, to the great detriment of the region’s stability, “the GAC communiqué noted.
“The joint efforts of Canada, the US, the United Kingdom and the European Union demonstrate broad support for respect for international law and human rights,” the press release said.
The earlier sanctions applied to a total of 72 Belarusian officials and officials as well as 5 entities. The Canadian government has also donated over 3 million Canadian dollars to support organizations and civic movements working for democracy, human rights, and especially women’s rights and free media.