WASHINGTON, June 14 (RIA Novosti) - US President Barack Obama extended by one year sanctions imposed on Belarus in 2006, the White House press service said on Thursday.
A notice to the Congress, signed by Obama, says that certain actions by the Belarusian government undermine the development of democratic institutions in the ex-Soviet country.
“In 2012, the Government of Belarus continued its crackdown against political opposition, civil society, and independent media. The September 23 elections failed to meet international standards,” reads the document, posted on the White House website.
According to the document, “the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Belarus and other persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
The U.S. sanctions came in addition to those imposed by the European Union in an effort to persuade Belarusian leader President Alexander Lukashenko to make progress on human rights.
The sanctions, to expire on June 16, 2013, freeze US property and assets of ten high-ranking Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarusian officials were not immediately available for a comment.