Trump administration may expand travel restrictions to Belarus – WSJ

The Trump administration plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the United States, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas,” WSJ’s author Michelle Hackman says.

Moreover, some countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery program.

According to the media outlet, the list is not final yet. The additional restrictions may be introduced on January, 27.

In January 2017, President Donald Trump signed a decree forbiding the entry to the United States to the citizens of several Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and others). At first, the execution of the decree was blocked by the courts, but later the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the U.S. leader.

When reached by, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the situation. The ministry only said that they had not received a corresponding notification.

The U.S. sanctions against Belarus were first introduced by the then president George Bush on June 16, 2006. They target Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, his eldest son Viktar, presidential aide for national security since 2005; Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the central election commission since 1996; Viktar Sheyman, the then state secretary of the Security Council who is currently special presidential aide; Dzmitry Paulichenka, the then chief of the Special Rapid Response Unit (SOBR) of the Interior Ministry, etc.

The U.S. authorities ban the blacklisted persons from entering the United States and freeze their assets in US banks as well as prohibit US companies from doing business with them.

In the summer of 2019, Donald Trump extended the sanctions to June 16, 2020.

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