WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating three entities and nine individuals, and identifying one presidential aircraft as blocked property, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14038. These designations build on sanctions imposed on individuals and entities in Belarus in response to the ongoing brutal crackdown against the pro-democracy movement and civil society surrounding the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election. These actions also underscore the United States’ willingness to hold the regime in Minsk to account for its complicity in the Russian Federation’s ongoing unjustified war of choice against Ukraine.
“The authoritarian Lukashenka regime relies on state-owned enterprises and key officials to generate substantial revenue that enables oppressive acts against the Belarusian people,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “We remain committed to imposing costs on the Lukashenka regime for its suppression of democracy and support for Putin’s war of choice.”
Concurrently and in the spirit of Belarusian Freedom Day, the Department of State is announcing actions to impose visa restrictions on an additional 14 individuals, including regime officials involved in policies to threaten and intimidate the Belarusian people, for their involvement in undermining democracy under Presidential Proclamation 8015.
Today’s actions further align the United States with its international partners and allies in ensuring the Lukashenka regime pays a price for its abysmal treatment of its own citizens and assistance to the Putin regime.
REVENUE GENERATING BELARUSIAN STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES
Open Joint Stock Company Belarusian Automobile Plant (BelAZ) is one of the largest manufacturers of large trucks and large dump trucks in the world. Employees of BelAZ who took part in strikes and peaceful protests in the aftermath of the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election in Belarus were threatened with layoffs and intimidated by company management. Lukashenka has stated that the government will always support BelAZ and described it as a “Belarusian brand” and “part of the national legacy.” BelAZ’s Director is Sergei Olegovich Nikiforovich (Nikiforovich). BelAZ was previously designated by the European Union (EU) and Canada.
OFAC is designating BelAZ pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of Belarus (GoB).
OFAC is designating Nikiforovich pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being or having been a leader or official of the GoB.
Open Joint Stock Company Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) is one of the biggest automotive manufacturers in Belarus and a significant source of revenue for the Lukashenka regime. Employees of MAZ who took part in strikes and peaceful protests in the aftermath of the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election in Belarus were intimidated and later laid off by the company’s management. MAZ’s Director is Valery Valerievich Ivankovich (Ivankovich). MAZ and Ivankovich were previously designated by the EU and Canada.
OFAC is designating MAZ pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the GoB.
OFAC is designating Ivankovich pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being or having been a leader or official of the GoB.
Central Election Commission of the Republic of Belarus (CEC) was originally designated on December 23, 2020, pursuant to Belarus-related E.O. 13405 following the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election. The CEC played a role in barring opposition candidates, denying access to poll observers, and certifying inaccurate vote tallies. OFAC previously designated senior members of the CEC in the wake of the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election and is adding members of the commission that have joined since that time. These new members include Ihar Vasilyevich Karpenka (Karpenka), Alena Anatolieuna Baldouskaya (Baldouskaya), Dzyanis Uladzimiravich Duk (Duk), Alena Kanstantsinauna Kuntsevich (Kuntsevich), Alyaksandr Henadzievich Tkachou (Tkachou), Katsyaryna Alyaksandrauna Fedasenka (Fedasenka), and Alyaksandr Uladzimiravich Yuzhyk (Yuzhyk). Karpenka was previously designated by the EU and Canada.
OFAC is designating CEC pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the GoB.
OFAC is designating Karpenka, Baldouskaya, Duk, Kuntsevich, Tkachou, Fedasenka, and Yuzhyk pursuant to E.O. 14038 for being or having been leaders or officials of the GoB.
LUKASHENKa’S LUXURY AIRLINER
EW-001PA is a Boeing 737 belonging to the GoB and used as the presidential aircraft for the U.S.-sanctioned leader of Belarus, Alyaksandr Hryhoryavich Lukashenka. Lukashenka has exclusive access to EW-001PA and other luxury aircraft and uses them for personal trips. Moreover, Lukashenka has used EW-001PA with his family and other members of his entourage for international travel.
OFAC is identifying EW-001PA as property in which Lukashenka, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14038, has an interest.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s FAQ 897.