The US Treasury is to implement sanctions against Belarus's biggest petrochemical conglomerate, as it is controlled by the country's "oppressive" president. The US government has been critical of President Alexander Lukashenko's leadership of the ex-Soviet Republic for almost a decade. US officials have described Belarus as Europe's last dictatorship and raised concerns about political repression and human rights abuses.
The Treasury's sanctions target the Belarussian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry, also known as Belneftekhim, and its representative offices in Germany, Latvia, the Ukraine, Russia and China, as well as a US subsidiary identified as Belneftekhim USA, Inc. The Treasury sanctions bar US citizens from doing business with Belneftekhim as well as freezing any of the company's assets under US jurisdiction.