The Belarus Freedom Forum, representing the interests of the Belarusian Americans in the U.S., calls on the Biden-Harris administration and the members of the U.S. Congress to take immediate actions aimed at the Lukashenka’s and Putin’s regimes that undermined the sovereignty and independence of Belarus, advanced the integration of Belarus in the so-called “Union State” and orchestrated aggression against Ukraine.
The illegitimate ruler of Belarus, with direct support from Putin, responded to the democratic aspirations of Belarusians with excessive violence and oppression against civil society. In exchange for that support, Lukashenka invited a large and indefinite Russian military presence in Belarus under the pretext of joint military exercises and sold the sovereignty of Belarus. Lukashenka and Putin endangered the lives of the Belarusian people and have turned Belarus into an aggressor state.
The advance of the “Union State” of Belarus and Russia, the military cooperation agreement of both states, and the constitutional changes designed to eliminate Belarus neutrality and non-nuclear status are the tools to enforce authoritarianism and mask steps towards restoration of the Russian empire. With the Russian forces staying in Belarus permanently, Belarus lost the last traits of independence and sovereignty. The buildup of Russian troops and military equipment on the territory of Belarus created existential threats to Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Poland, and other countries of Eastern and Central Europe.
The Belarus Democracy Act 2020 (pdf, H.R.133 - 116th Congress, Subtitle C—Support for Human Rights in Belarus, pp. 5040-5075) denounced the formation of the so-called “Union State” and called for sanctions against anyone who facilitated the creation of the unlawful union and impugned independence and sovereignty of Belarus.
We call on the Biden-Harris administration and the U.S. Congress to implement the recommendations outlined in BDA 2020 and to:
- Condemn the incorporation of Belarus in Union State with Russia and Putin’s and Lukashenka’s orchestrated aggression.
- Denounce and recognize null and void all treaties concerning the formation of the Union State signed by Lukashenka or Lukashenka’s government officials and Russia’s officials.
- Declare the 28 road maps and military agreements signed by Lukashenka and Putin in November 2021 as illegal and unlawful.
- Announce the military agreement between Belarus and Russia as a means of occupation of independent Belarus.
- Consider the military presence of Russian troops in Belarus as an aggression against the Belarusian people.
- Recognize the ongoing aggression towards Ukraine orchestrated by Putin and Lukashenka as a criminal act against humanity.
- Demand immediate withdrawal of the Russian military from Belarus and the borders of Ukraine.
- Announce expansion of sanctions on Russia and Belarus government officials conspiring to create the so-called “Union State” and financial supporters of the Lukashenka and Putin regimes.
- Sanction high-rank military officials of Belarus and Russia involved in military occupation of Belarus and aggression toward Ukraine.
- Sanction Belarusian and Russian financial institutions that provide resources for advancing the “Union State” and joint military operation of Belarus and Russia.
- Sanction Belarusian and Russian prominent propaganda specialists that spread misinformation and instigate hate and violence.
We urge the Biden-Harris administration and the members of the U.S. Congress to stand up to the aggressors, Putin and Lukashenka regimes, that undermined the sovereignty and independence of Belarus, advanced the integration of Belarus in the so-called “Union State,” and orchestrated aggression against Ukraine.