Belarus says U.S. sanctions against Belorusneft illegitimate

Belarusian authorities consider the decision by the U.S. Department of State to impose sanctions on Belorusneft as illegitimate, Belarusian foreign ministry press secretary Andrei Savinykh told local media Wednesday.

According to the official, "unilateral sanctions are counterproductive and detrimental to the bilateral relations." Belorusneft was founded in 1966. The company explores and develops oil fields, drills wells, extracts oil and oil gas.

It has a network of filling stations which sell 73 percent of all petrol in Belarus. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday that the sanctions include restrictions on the company in the U.S. market, including export licenses.

He added "Belorusneft is also prohibited from applying for loans to the Export-Import Bank, as well as to obtain loans larger than 10 million U.S. dollars in commercial banks in the U.S. territory for a year and to engage in the execution of the U.S. government's contracts." U.S. State Department imposed unilateral sanctions against a number of Belarusian companies on January 31, including Lakokraska and Polotsk Steklovolokno.

The U.S. has also expanded the list of Belarusian citizens banned from entering the country.


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