WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The national emergency with regard to Belarus was first declared by the United States on June 16, 2006.
“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…I am continuing for one more year the national emergency.”
In early 2012, entry into the United States was denied to President Lukashenko and his two sons, as well as a number of Belarusian officials, amounting to 157 individuals on the US travel ban list.
The West accuses the Belarusian authorities of persecuting the political opposition and denying citizens’ basic rights and freedoms, in particular, freedom of expression. Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko insists that the accusations are groundless and that putting pressure on Minsk is pointless.