The U.S. wants to punish Belarus for cooperation with Iran, North Korea and Syria. On the list of companies subjected to sanctions, announced by the State Department is BelOMO, a company producing, among others military equipment and optical guidance systems. Another company is Beltecheksport, which deals with the modernization of aviation and air defense systems.
The U.S. State Department announced that the basis of the imposition of two-year sanctions was the information about alleged cooperation of the listed companies with countries covered by the UN embargo on arms trade: Iran, North Korea and Syria. The companies are accused of supplying to those countries equipment or technology that could be used in developing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Also, for the same reasons, three Chinese, five Iranian and one North Korean companies are subjected to the sanctions. According to experts quoted by Bielpan news agency, action taken by the U.S. State Department will be mainly important for the company’s image and will not cause economic losses.
At the end of March, sanctiones against Bielarusnafta, an oil company, were imposed, for its liasion with Iran. Such steps were provoked by a contract, between the Belarusian company and the Iranian company “NaftIran Intertrade” in 2007. According to U.S. law, companies that invest in Iran’s oil sector more than $ 20 million, are not allowed to enter the American market. The sanctions are aimed at depriving Iran of investments in oil and gas extraction industry, which, according to the U.S. authorities, finances the Iranian nuclear program.
After the presidential elections and as a response to violations of human rights, the Americans restored sanctions against the two companies belonging to the Belnaftachim company: Lakfarba and Polack–Shklovalanko.