US imposes new sanctions on Belarus over migrant crisis, ongoing human rights abuses

The Treasury Department on Thursday announced it is “designating 20 individuals and 12 entities and identifying three aircraft as blocked property” and imposing restrictions on dealings with Belarus’ sovereign debt.

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Among those sanctioned are Belarus’s state-owned tourism company, its state-owned cargo carrier, and five entities linked to its defense sector.

The US also sanctioned Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s middle son Dzmitry Lukashenko and the Republican State-Public Association Presidential Sports Club, which he leads, as well as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Dmitriy Mikhaylovich Korzyuk and Dzmitriy Yurievich Baskau, a member of the executive committee of the Belarus National Olympic Committee.

“These actions reaffirm the U.S. government’s commitment to impose costs on the Lukashenka regime for enabling corruption, human rights abuses, inhumane exploitation of vulnerable people and orchestration of irregular migration, and attacks against democratic freedoms and international norms,” the Treasury Department said in a statement using the US government’s way of spelling the Belarusian leader’s name.

US officials have for weeks previewed that the US would impose new sanctions on Belarus, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in an interview Wednesday, “we’re working very closely with the European Union, including on additional sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, both for what it’s done in weaponizing migration but also what it’s done to oppress the rights of the Belarusian people.”

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