|The 2011 sanctions were imposed on the state-owned energy firm in connection with a contract signed by Belarusian enterprises with the Iranian company NaftIran Intertrade. Photo: EPA, Tatyana Zenkovich|
The United States decided to lift the sanctions against the Belarus energy public firm, Belarusneft. According to the Associated Press (AP), the lifting of the sanctions took place because of the great efforts made by Belarus during the successful Minsk negotiations over Ukraine. The US decision was signed by Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Kurt Tong and it was published in the Federal Register:
"The Secretary of State has decided to terminate sanctions imposed under the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended, on Republican Unitary Enterprise Production Association Belarusneft on the basis that the company is no longer engaging in sanctionable activity and that this person (Belarusneft) has provided reliable assurances that it will not knowingly engage in such activities in the future. Therefore, certain sanctions that were imposed on Belarusneft on March 29, 2011 are no longer in effect."
The 2011 sanctions were imposed on the state-owned energy firm in connection with a contract signed by Belarusian enterprises with the Iranian company NaftIran Intertrade to develop the Jofeyr oil field.
The decision by the US State Department to remove sanctions against Belarusneft, corresponds to a new trend in relations between Belarus and the United States, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Mironchik said on Tuesday.
"The US State Department’s decision to lift sanctions against Belarusneft is a step in the right direction," Mironchik said and added, "the US decision also corresponds to the new atmosphere in the Belarus-US relations being created by mutual efforts of the sides."
According to AP, relations of Belarus with the US and the EU have warmed recently due to the Minsk, Ukrainian peace talks.