The Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned several Belarusian entities, including the plane used by Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko (R). File photo by Belarus' President Press Office/UPI | License Photo
March 24 (UPI) -- The Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on two Belarusian entities, seven elections officials, and President Alexander Lukashenko's aircraft.
The sanctions are retaliation for Lukashenko's crackdown on pro-democracy protests that occurred following the 2020 presidential election that many derided as a sham. Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994.
Belarus also has allowed Russia to station troops in its country during the war in 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," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. "We remain committed to imposing costs on the Lukashenka regime for its suppression of democracy and support for Putin's war of choice."
Among those sanctioned on Friday were the Belarusian Automobile Plant that Lukashenko has described as a "Belarusian brand," the Treasury Department said. It also sanctioned the Minsk Automobile Plant after employees at the plant were laid off for participating in the strikes.
Seven officials from The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Belarus also were hit with sanctions. The CEC, which was sanctioned in 2020, bars opposition candidates, denies access to poll observers and certifies inaccurate vote tallies, the Treasury Department said.
Finally, the Department sanctioned Lukashenko's presidential aircraft, a Boeing 737 with the registration number EW-001PA.
"Lukashenka has exclusive access to EW-001PA and other luxury aircraft and uses them for personal trips," the Treasury Department said. "Moreover, Lukashenka has used EW-001PA with his family and other members of his entourage for international travel."