On March 24, 2023, the US Department of The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 9 individuals and 3 entities in Belarus for assisting the Government of Belarus and its ongoing crackdown against the pro-democracy movement and the civil society in Belarus, following the country’s fraudulent presidential election in August 2020. According to OFAC, the designations, which were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14038, also demonstrate the US’s willingness to hold Belarus accountable for its complicity in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. To mark Belarusian Freedom Day, the US Department of State also concurrently imposed visa restrictions on 14 additional individuals in Belarus under Presidential Proclamation 8015, including regime officials involved in the implementation of policies that threaten and intimidate Belarusian citizens.
Among the designees is EW-001PA, the luxury presidential aircraft used Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Hyrhoryavich Lukashenka, who was initially sanctioned by the US in 2006 and was recently re-designated in 2022 for engaging in public corruption related to Belarus. OFAC also designated one of the largest truck and dump truck manufacturers in the world, Open Joint Stock Company Belarusian Automobile Plant (BelAZ) and its director for taking part in demonstrations and peaceful protests following the fraudulent 200 presidential election by threatening to lay off company employees who engaged in the protests. In addition, OFAC re-designated the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Belarus (“CEC”) pursuant to 14038 for being a political subdivision of the Government of Belarus, as well as 7 members of the CEC who joined the organization since the 2020 election. The CEC was previously designated by the US in 2020 pursuant to Belarus-related EO 13405 following the fraudulent presidential election in 2020.
As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of these designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving designated persons. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.