WASHINGTON, August 11 (Itar-Tass) — The United States has imposed new economic sanctions against four major Belarusian state-owned enterprises, a spokesperson for U.S. Department of State said on Thursday.
The four Belarusian companies include the Belshina tyre factory, fertilizer manufacturer Grodno Azot, Grodno Khimvolokno, a fiber manufacturer, and the oil refinery Naftan.
The new sanctions were imposed “to respond to the continued incarceration of political prisoners and crackdown on political activists, journalists and civil society representativesto respond to the continued incarceration of political prisoners and crackdown on political activists, journalists and civil society representatives,” the spokesperson said. “These measures target those responsible for the repression in Belarus following the December 19 presidential elections.”
The new sanctions expand travel restrictions and asset freezes in respect of Belarusian officials.
“These U.S. actions are not directed at the people of Belarus,” the spokesperson said. “We reiterate our call on the Government of Belarus to release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners.”
According to the U.S. Department of State, the four enterprises have been “determined to be owned or controlled by the Belneftekhim conglomerate, an entity already designated under Executive Order 13405” back in 2007.