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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. president prolongs sanctions against Belarusian leadership

RIA Novosti

07/06/2008 11:06 WASHINGTON, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President George Bush on Saturday prolonged for at least one year sanctions imposed in June 2006 on a number of Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko.

A statement signed by the U.S. president stated that the sanctions had been prolonged on the grounds that the actions of Belarusian leadership threaten U.S. security and foreign policy.

The U.S. and the European Union have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of clamping down on dissent, stifling the media and rigging elections. Lukashenko, who was re-elected to a third term in 2006, and other senior Belarusian officials have been blacklisted from entering the U.S. and EU.

In June 2006 President Bush signed a resolution freezing all property and financial assets in the United States owned by the country's president, the head of the security service, Stepan Sukharenko, the head of national television and radio company, Alexander Zimovsky, Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov and other Belarusian officials.

Lukashenko, dubbed by Washington as 'Europe's last dictator', repeatedly denied that he had any property or assets in the United States.

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