Biden stated that the actions of Belarus pose an unusual and emerging threat to the national security and external policy of the U.S. Particularly, due to the maleficent activity of the Belarusian regime and former abuses aiming for suppression of the democracy.
The White House noted that the U.S. Department of the Treasury issues its largest round of sanctions to date against Belarusian individuals and entities.
Thus, the list includes:
- Belaruskali OAO, which is one of Belarus’s largest state-owned enterprises, one of the world’s largest producers of potash, and a source of illicit wealth for the regime;
- The Belarusian National Olympic Committee, which is accused of facilitating money laundering, sanctions evasion, and the circumvention of visa bans, and which the International Olympic Committee has publicly reprimanded for its failure to protect Belarusian athletes from political discrimination and repression;
- Prominent businesspeople who support the Lukashenka regime as well as fifteen companies with which they are affiliated – including Absolutbank, a private Belarusian bank; and,
- Additional entities that operate in the tobacco products, construction, energy, and transportation sectors of the Belarus economy.
On July 2, the Lithuanian government declared a state of emergency at the national level in connection with an increase in the flow of illegal migrants from Belarus. On July 7, the Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte announced that a wall would be erected on the border with Belarus.
Poland and Lithuania urged the EU countries to increase the support of Lithuania amid the crisis with migrants and extend sanctions against Belarus.
In its turn, the EU noted that it is considering sanctions an option to tackle Belarus migrants’ smugglers.