Message to the Congress on Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus
To the Congress of the United States:
Consistent with subsection 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1703(b)(IEEPA), and section 301 of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1631 (NEA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the "order") blocking the property of persons in connection with the situation in Belarus. In that order, I declared a national emergency with respect to the policies and actions of certain individuals in Belarus, to address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the actions and circumstances involving Belarus, as described below. This action follows the issuance of Proclamation 8015 of May 12, 2006, "Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Responsible for Policies or Actions That Threaten the Transition to Democracy in Belarus," in which I determined that it is in the interest of the United States to suspend the entry into the United States of members of the government of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and others who formulate, implement, participate in, or benefit from policies or actions, including electoral fraud, human rights abuses, and corruption, that undermine or injure democratic institutions or impede the transition to democracy in Belarus.
The United States, the European Union, and other allies and partners around the world have repeatedly expressed support for the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people and condemned the Belarusian government's human rights abuses, assaults on democracy, and corruption. The Belarusian authorities have resorted to intense repression in an attempt to preserve their power, including the disappearances of four regime critics in 1999 and 2000, which the authorities have failed to investigate seriously despite credible information linking top government officials to these acts.
The undemocratic 2006 presidential election was only the latest example of the Belarusian government's disregard for the rights of its own citizens. Hundreds of civic and opposition activists were arrested—and many beaten—both before and after the vote for exercising their rights. The authorities forcibly dispersed peaceful post-election demonstrations. There is simply no place in a Europe whole and free for a regime of this kind.
The order also takes an important step in the fight against public corruption, which threatens important United States interests globally, including ensuring security and stability, the rule of law and core democratic values, advancing prosperity, and creating a level playing field for lawful business activities. As noted in Proclamation 8015, the persistent acts of corruption by Belarusian government officials in the performance of public functions has played a significant role in frustrating the Belarusian people's aspirations for democracy. This order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to block the assets of senior-level officials of the Government of Belarus, their family members, or those closely linked to such officials engaged in such corruption.
Thus, pursuant to IEEPA and the NEA, I have determined that these actions and circumstances constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I have issued the order to deal with this threat.
The order blocks the property and interests in property in the United States, or in the possession or control of United States persons, of the persons listed in the Annex to the order, as well as of any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of State:
- to be responsible for, or to have participated in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Belarus;
- to be responsible for, or to have participated in, human rights abuses related to political repression in Belarus;
- to be a senior-level official, a family member of such official, or a person closely linked to such an official who is responsible for or has engaged in public corruption related to Belarus.
The order also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of State, to designate for such blocking any person determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the activities listed above or any person listed in or designated pursuant to the order. I further authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of State, to designate for such blocking any person determined to be owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person listed in or designated pursuant to the order. The Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of State, is also authorized to remove any persons from the Annex to the order as circumstances warrant.
I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, after consultation with the Secretary of State, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order. All executive agencies are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.
The order, a copy of which is enclosed, was effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 19, 2006.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House,
June 19, 2006.
NOTE: The Executive order is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.
George W. Bush, Message to the Congress on Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/216432