US sanctions target jet of Belarus leader

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The United States on Friday slapped sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s official jet as well as two major national automakers for intimidating workers who took part in anti-government protests.

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The US Treasury, which administers sanctions, singled out Lukashenko's presidential aircraft, a Boeing 737 designated EX-001PA.

The aircraft is used by Lukashenko and his family for official business and personal trips, including to international locations.

Sanctions, which ban any US individuals and entities from transacting with those targeted, could make it harder for the aircraft operator to get services and spare parts for it.

The Treasury also placed sanctions on Belarusian Automobile Plant and Minsk Automobile Plant, large car and truck manufacturers.

Both plants threatened employees “who took part in strikes and peaceful protests in the aftermath of the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election,” according to the Treasury.

Protest participants were intimidated and then laid off at the Minsk Automobile Plant, and were threatened with layoffs at the Belarusian Automobile Plant, according to the Treasury.

The Treasury also placed on its sanctions blacklist several recently appointed members of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, which is already under sanctions.

“The United States continues to promote accountability for the Lukashenko regime’s violence surrounding the fraudulent August 2020 presidential election,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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