Shaheen Statement on New Sanctions Against Belarus

June 21, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation SFRC Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that the United States will impose sanctions against Belarusian individuals and entities, in coordination with its transatlantic allies, in response to the state-sponsored hijacking of the Ryanair flight last month to unlawfully arrest a Belarusian journalist and opposition activist:

“This is a critical step to hold the Lukashenka regime to account, but to also make clear that the transatlantic community is united in holding bad actors responsible,” said Shaheen. “We stand together against Lukashenka, and to all who violate democratic norms and values we say this - there will be consequences. I’m encouraged by the administration’s diplomatic efforts to utilize the tools Congress established and in coordination with our allies. I’ll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate and with the Biden administration to bolster our commitment to the transatlantic alliance and ensure every step is taken to hold autocrats like Lukashenka, who commit these gross human rights abuses and threaten our global security, to account.”

Senator Shaheen recently returned from Eastern Europe after leading a bipartisan delegation to discuss transatlantic relations, democratic reforms and countering increasing aggression from Russia. In Lithuania, Shaheen met with Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya to discuss the Lukashenka regime’s increasing human rights abuses against political opposition, and also visited Ukraine and Georgia to reaffirm U.S. commitment to these regional partners and promote democratic reforms. Shaheen is co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which she re-established in 2018 with Senator Tillis (R-NC).