The US Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against 24 Belarusian individuals and entities, including the defense minister, due to their “support for, and facilitation of” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Biden administration had said that Minsk would face “swift and decisive” sanctions if it allowed Russia to launch an attack of Ukraine from its territory.
Among those targeted by Thursday’s sanctions are two Belarusian state-owned banks – Belinvestbank and Bank Dabrabyt – as well as Belarusian Minister of Defense Viktor Gennadievich Khrenin and State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Aleksandr Grigorievich Volfovich.
“Having already sacrificed its legitimacy to suppress the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people, the Lukashenka regime is now jeopardizing Belarus’s sovereignty by supporting Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
“Treasury continues to disrupt Belarus’s military and financial capabilities through targeted sanctions. Further, due to the interconnectedness between the two countries, the actions Treasury took against Russia today will also impose severe economic pain on the Lukashenka regime,” Yellen said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko spoke by phone on Thursday, according to Belarusian state news agency Belta.
CNN also witnessed, through a livestream video, troops atop a column of military vehicles entering Ukraine from a border crossing with Belarus Thursday.