Britain and Canada also announced new sanctions on the country
US President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order imposing new measures aimed at punishing Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko as the United States steps up pressure against his government in coordinated action with the United Kingdom and Canada.
On the anniversary of the presidential election Lukashenko is accused of rigging, the United States issued its largest round of sanctions to date on Belarusian individuals and entities, targeting the country's economy and the Belarusian National Olympic Committee, a White House official said.
The US Treasury Department blacklisted 21 entities including Belaruskali OAO, which the official said is one of Belarus’ largest state-owned enterprises and one of the world’s largest producers of potash, which is used in fertilizers and is Belarus' main foreign currency earner.
The action comes after Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya refused to board a flight home during the Olympics after she was taken to the airport against her wishes.
The Belarusian National Olympic Committee will also be hit with sanctions in on Monday's action, the official said, over accusations it facilitated money laundering, sanctions evasion, and the circumvention of visa bans.
Meanwhile, Britain announced its new sanctions on Monday, targeting exports of oil products and potash. Lukashenko said Britain would "choke" on its measures and that he was ready for talks with the West instead of a sanctions war.
Canada also imposed new sanctions on Belarus to protest what it called the "gross and systematic violations of human rights" under Lukashenko.