Sanctions Placed on Belarus Leader

Speculation is confirmed, as the European Union and United States place sanctions on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his inner circle on Monday as punishment for a post-election crackdown on the opposition. The sanctions include a travel ban on Lukashenko and his allies, in addition to financial sanctions.

Lukashenko won a disputed election in December, resulting in mass protests with more than 600 people detained, including seven of the candidates.

Sanctions against the Belarusian leader were originally imposed in 2006 after the last presidential election but the travel ban was suspended two years later in an attempt to encourage reforms.

Regarding the current sanctions, the EU stopped short of imposing wider economic sanctions against the Belarus state, as called for by Sweden and Poland, because others did not want to make the people of Belarus pay.

In addition to travel sanctions, the US has also revoked licences that had temporarily authorized Americans to engage in transactions with two subsidiaries of the largest state-owned petroleum and chemical conglomerate in Belarus.

Just last week, Congress was addressing the issue of how to handle the Belarusian government. Congress was urged to revoke general licenses that had been issued, increase the number of those on the travel ban, and impose further financial sanctions against specific individuals and entities. To view the Congressional testimony before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, click here.

OFAC will be the federal agency responsible for revoking licenses previously issued, in addition to imposing financial sanctions and designating Belarusian individuals and entities on the SDN List.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at or at one of the offices listed above.

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