President BidenJoe BidenCuomo’s senior assistant resigns Berlin nightclubs participate in COVID-19 pilot Project Lead pipe replacement funds in bipartisan deal sparks skepticism MORE on Monday signed a decree extending sanctions against Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenko’s regime, a year after the country staged what was widely seen as a fraudulent election that kept Lukashenko in power.
Biden’s order allows the US government to impose sanctions on other members of the Lukashenko regime, including individuals operating in the security, energy, tobacco, construction and transportation industries Belarusian economy, said the White House.
The Treasury Department is also pronouncing its largest round of sanctions to date against members of the regime, as well as the Belarusian National Olympic Committee, which is accused of money laundering, and Belaruskali OAO, a state-owned company that is believed to provide illicit products. funds for the scheme.
The additional actions come as the United States and its allies seek to increase pressure on Lukashenko as he continues to crush dissent and tighten his grip on power.
“A year ago today, the Belarusian people sought to make their voices heard and to shape their own future through this most fundamental expression of democracy: an election. Rather than respecting the clear will of the Belarusian people, the Lukashenka regime carried out electoral fraud, followed by a brutal crackdown to quell dissent, ”Biden said in a statement.
“The United States will continue to defend human rights and freedom of expression, while holding Lukashenka accountable, along with our allies and partners,” Biden added.
Belarus staged a presidential election last August marred by intimidation against other candidates, blocking of independent election observers and security measures against protesters.
Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for 26 years and is often described as “the last dictator in Europe”.
Biden met Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a Belarusian opposition leader, last month. The president and other world leaders imposed sanctions in late May after Belarus forced a Ryan Air flight carrying fellow dissident Rama Pratasevich to land within its borders so that authorities could stop it .