US Resumes Sanctions Against 9 Belarusian Firms

The U.S. State Department announced that it would be resuming economic sanctions against Belarus for human rights violations as 300 citizens are currently held under arrest as political prisoner.

The sanctions will mostly target large industrial businesses, to include Belneftekhim, Belneftekhim USA, Naftan, Belarusian Oil Trading House, Belshina, Grodno Azot, Grodnokhimvolokno, OAO Lakofarba and OAO Polotsk-Shklovalokno.

The U.S. State Department announced the resumption of the sanctions Wednesday March 31, and will target businesses under Alexander Lukashenko’s control. The sanctions will prohibit U.S. businesses and citizens are barred from doing business with listed companies, and any U.S. locations or holdings will be frozen.

Officials in the U.S. have continued to call for the release of Belarusian prisoners if the sanctions are to be lifted, saying that their position is “unequivocal” and that should the prisoners not be released, the sanctions will continue beyond April.

Sanctions have been levied against Belarus before, back in 2005 for issues with political prisoners. Belarus facilitated the release of these prisoners, prompting the U.S. to remove the sanctions and perpetually extend their exemption period. U.S. policy makers and politicians were set to revisit Belarus’ sanction on April 26 2021.

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