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U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order issuing new sanctions against Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko as the United States increases pressure against Belarus in coordinated action with the United Kingdom and Canada.
According to a White House official, on the anniversary of the presidential election, the United States has issued its largest round of sanctions to date on Belarusian individuals and entities, targeting the country's economy and the Belarusian National Olympic Committee.
The U.S. Treasury Department has blacklisted Belaruskali OAO, one of Belarus’ largest state-owned enterprises and one of the world’s largest potash producers, used in fertilizers and a main foreign currency earner for the country.
Thousands of people joined street protests in 2020, constituting the government's biggest challenge since 1994. Many opponents have been arrested or gone into exile and deny plotting a coup.
The UK announced its sanctions on Monday too, targeting exports of oil products and potash. Lukashenko responded by saying Britain would "choke" on its measures, and is ready for talks with the West instead of a sanctions war.
Canada similarly imposed new measures against Belarus to weaken the legitimate government led by Lukashenko.