This comment does not condemn or condone the Lukashenko regime's policies. Instead, it evaluates the effectiveness of the U.S. sanctions and provides some feasible alternatives. Also, this comment avoids normative arguments against sanctions, concentrating more on the probable economic and political effects. Part II supplies background information on the political developments within Belarus since the Soviet Union's collapse, including prior sanctions that the West imposed. Part III explains why the United States can legally institute sanctions. Parts IV and V discuss how American sanctions facilitate appropriation of significant Belarusian state assets by Russia and China, respectively. Part VI posits that the United States can use Eurasian integration to benefit its own economic interests, which include helping ordinary Belarusian citizens. Part VII examines the practice of using travel bans to sanction Belarusian officials and suggests a change to the visa regime as a way to further Western goals. Part VIII concludes this comment.

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Publication Date

Summer 2012