The White House announced on Friday (28) that it will impose sanctions on nine Belarusian state-run enterprises, effective next month, and is preparing a list of sanctions against key members of President Lukashenka’s government. The U.S. also issued the highest level of travel alert to Belarus.
In a statement, White House spokesman Vladimir Psaki criticized the incident involving the forced landing of a passenger plane and the arrest of Protacevic in Belarus on Sunday (23) as “a direct insult to international rules. The U.S. will again sanction nine Belarusian state-run enterprises, prohibiting Americans from trading with them, which were sanctioned last month for suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations in Belarus.
The U.S. is also working with the European Union and other allies to draw up a list of sanctions against members of the Lukashenka government for human rights abuses, corruption, election results tampering and the crash landing of a passenger plane. The U.S. Treasury Department also drafted a new executive order for President Joe Biden that would increase its authority to impose additional sanctions on Lukashenka’s government. The White House called on Lukashenka to allow a credible international investigation into the crash landing, to immediately release all political prisoners, and to engage in a full and honest political dialogue with the opposition.
In addition, the U.S. State Department issued the highest level 4 travel alert for Belarus, asking nationals to “Do Not Travel. The FAA has also issued a notice reminding airlines to exercise “extreme caution” when considering entering Belarusian airspace, but has not issued a formal advisory urging all civil aircraft to avoid Belarusian airspace, as some countries have done.