U.S. authorities have expanded economic sanctions against Belarus

April 22, 2016 17:57

Department of Foreign Asset Control of the U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC) added “Naftan”, JSC “Grodno-Azot”, JSC “Belshina” and JSC “Grodno Khimvolokno” to the list of Belarusian enterprises, subject to sanctions.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, they imply freezing of the assets of these companies that could show up within the U.S. jurisdiction. In addition, the Ministry prohibits U.S. companies and individuals dealing with these companies.

Comment

The introduction of new sanctions is an instrument of moral pressure, rather than economic. These Belarusian enterprises are oriented to the European market, rather than American (Ukrainian recently). Moreover, Belarusian enterprises easily get around these sanctions using their daughter companies in Ukraine, Poland and other third countries. Therefore the cost effectiveness of the sanctions is questionable, however they play a certain role as a tool for consistent moral pressure on the Belarusian authorities, and even more so when the EU authorities follow the same line.