Alexander Dobrovolsky, head of the expert board of the United Citizens Party (OGP), supports efforts spearheaded by Belarusian human rights groups to expand targeted sanctions against Belarusian State companies, which are major currency earners for the Belarusian regime, according to the interview aired on Russian-languageNew York radio 87.7FM.
The broadcast was a part of the series of interviews of major Belarusian politicians and opposition leaders conducted by Dima Shehigelsky, co-founder of ‘Belarusians in Exile’, a New York-based nonprofit group aimed at restoring and promoting democratic institutions and human rights in Belarus. ‘Belarusians in Exile’ and other human rights group have repeatedly called on the US and the EU government to expand targeted political and economic sanctions against the regime of the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko until the basic human rights in the country are restored and political prisoners are released.
Alexander Dobrovolsky believes that sanctions are extremely effective: “The State claims [that sanctions are ineffective]. They claim that sanctions don’t concern them, but it’s actually the other way around. Belarusian oligarchs would not spend so much money to try to remove sanctions. If sanctions weren’t in place, those who support and fund the regime, would work even more comfortably than now. Targeted sanctions are measures against specific individuals. Everybody should understand that these are not measures against the country as a whole,” adds Dobrovolsky.
Belarusians in Exile and other human rights groups signed a petition to the U.S. Treasury, asking the government to expand sanction against the State Belarusian companies that are responsible for funding the oppressive regime. The same petition is also being considered by the E.U. Dima Shehigelsky, co-founder of the BiE, says: “Sanctions are the most effective way to affect the situation in Belarus. Negotiating with the dictator is pointless, and governments should take a stand against the last dictatorship in Europe.”