Sectoral sanctions against Russia may create problems for Belarusian banking system
On June 30th, 2015, the US Treasury included Belvneshekonombank in the list of organizations that are subject to sectoral sanctions envisaging a ban on access to financing by American companies and banks for a period exceeding 30 days. The Belarusian bank has received a formal ban on access to financing for a year in connection with the sanctions applied against the parent bank. As a result, the terms of settlements for the bank’s customers will be prolonged when dealing with foreign contractors in US Dollars; American companies and their representative offices in Belarus will refuse to cooperate with the bank’s clients; some large clients may transit to other banks; and there may be some problems with implementation of contracts denominated in US Dollars. In the view of further expansion of sanctions, other Belarusian banks may be included in the list, i.e. subsidiaries of Russian banks, which account for more than 20% of Belarusian banks’ assets.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.