In an article in today's edition of The Washington Post Senators John Kerry (Democrat) and Joe Lieberman (Independent) urged the West to respond to the post-election crackdown in Belarus targeted economic-financial and visa sanctions. They write:
"The situation in Belarus requires a strong and uncompromising response from all sides. Political prisoners Belarusian regime, including four former presidential candidates, be released immediately, and their safety is guaranteed. While there is no clear and unambiguous evidence that the Belarusian government is committed to the fundamental rights of its citizens, we propose to make the following five steps:
First, our government and the European Union should introduce targeted sanctions, including a visa ban and asset freeze, against Belarusian officials and their assistants who are responsible for the persecution and human rights violations.
Second, we urge the European Union to join the United States in Business ban and the freezing of assets of the Belarusian state petrochemical company "Belneftekhim", as well as other entities that enrich Lukashenko and his cronies at the expense of the Belarusian people.
Third, we ask the European Union stop the projects associated with the Belarusian authorities and to suspend the meeting with Belarusian officials in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. We encourage our European partners to instead they joined the United States in an effort to increase cooperation with the Belarusian people and to provide more effective support to Belarusian civil society.
Fourth, we urge Mrs. Clinton and Ashton continue close coordination of U.S. and EU policies against Belarus.
Fifth, we encourage other members of the international community, including Russia, take similar action targeted against the Belarusian leadership. "