US Congress imposes sanctions against Belarus over democracy issues

US spokespeople in international organizations will have to vote against any kind of assistance to Belarus

The House of Representatives of the US Congress unanimously approved the draft law “The Act of Democracy in Belarus.” US law-makers believe that there is no democracy in Belarus. According to the American congressmen, there will be no democracy there, if President Alexander Lukashenko stays at power.

The USA imposes economic sanctions against Belarus for an indefinite period of time. When the American president states to congressmen that the Belarus government finally realized and corrected its politics, the sanctions will be withdrawn.

US congressmen think that the Belarus administration should release political and religious prisoners. In addition, American officials want Lukashenko to withdraw politically motivated charges brought against opposition members and independent journalists in Belarus. To crown it all, Alexander Lukashenko will have to explain the disappearance of opposition leaders and journalists in Belarus. To have the sanctions removed, the Belarus administration will also have to tell the USA, what punishment will be applied to the guilty.

The draft law also contains a requirement to cease all forms of intimidation and repression against independent mass media outlets, independent trade unions, non-governmental and religious organizations and the political opposition in Belarus. Finally, the document says that Belarus needs to hold honest and free presidential and parliamentary elections in connections with OSCE obligations. In fact, if it is Lukashenko, who is guilty of all those problems, this last paragraph of the draft law should be the first one.

The American government is not allowed to provide the republic with any loans, guarantees, insurance payments, or render any kind of financial assistance. However, US congressmen did not strike out the humanitarian help from the list. The USA will be so kind to supply Belarus will grain and poultry.

In addition, the draft law binds all American spokespeople in international organizations, including the IMF and the WB, to vote against any kind of assistance to Belarus. Both the US Congress and the president will have to push other countries, European states first and foremost, towards similar measures against the republic of Belarus.

The US president will have to inform the US Congress about the deliveries of arms and military hardware from Belarus to terrorist-supporting countries. The report should be made in three months after the draft law comes into effect. It will need to contain the detailed information about goods, services, loans and other rewards that Belarus obtained in return to arms deliveries.

The document also describes personal measures of influence. The above-mentioned report from the US president will also need to contain the data about the property and personal fortunes of President Alexander Lukashenko and other governmental officials of Belarus: the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, members of the council of ministers, chairmen of state committees, employees of the presidential administration.

Once approved by the House of Representatives, the draft law will be sent to the US Senate. Then it will be taken to the president's office. 

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Author`s name Olga Savka