October 2, 2020

OFAC targets Belarusian officials following August presidential election

In coordination with actions taken by the United Kingdom and Canada, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has sanctioned eight individuals pursuant to Executive Order 13405 for their roles in undermining democratic processes in Belarus.  The sanctioned individuals include Yuriy Khadzymuratavich Kareau, the Belarusian Minister of the Interior, his deputy Alyaksandr Pyatrovich Barsukou, Ministry of the Interior Minsk branch head Ivan Uladzimiravich Kubrakou, commanders of the Ministry of the Interior’s internal troops and the Minsk Special Purpose Police Unit, and senior election officials in Belarus.

According to OFAC, the presidential election held on August 9 that purportedly returned Aleksandr Lukashenko to office for his sixth term was undemocratic and included a myriad of irregularities, including the falsification of vote tallies, obstruction of access to poll observers, and the prevention of opposition candidates from running in the election.  In its press release, OFAC describes the actions of the designated individuals in interfering with the election, violently suppressing the right to peaceful protest, and abusing the human rights of Belarusian citizens.

Pursuant to these sanctions, US property of designated individuals is blocked, and OFAC regulations generally prohibit transactions by US persons that involve such property.

US Dept of the Treasury press release