In addition to the measures already announced in recent weeks, the White House has said it is drawing up a “list of selected sanctions against key members of the Alexander Lukashenko regime” with the European Union.
“The forced diversion and arrest of journalist Roman Protashevich under the false pretense of a commercial flight between two EU member states is a direct challenge to international standards,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Zaki.
Nine sanctions against Belarusian state-owned companies, which were re-imposed in April after the crackdown on anti-democratic protesters, will take effect on June 3. After the controversial 2006 elections, Washington banned any transactions with these companies, which, after some improvements, were only raised by the US Treasury in 2015.
The White House has issued a warning to its citizens to travel to Belarus. It also confirmed that the judiciary, including the FBI, was investigating the incident in collaboration with European colleagues.
Ambassador Joseph Borel said yesterday that the European Union was exploring the possibility of imposing sanctions on Belarus. Brussels asked airlines to avoid that country.
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