The United States Department of the Treasury has ramped up its sanctions against Belavia (B2, Minsk National) with the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) designating the state-owned Belarusian airline and thus banning all US firms from dealing with it.

"OFAC is designating Belavia pursuant to Executive Order 14038 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the government of Belarus," the authority said in a statement on the third anniversary of the controversial 2020 elections which resulted in widespread protests and an unprecedented level of repression in the country.

The US body also designated Challenger 850 EW-301PJ (msn 8057), an executive aircraft operated by Belavia on behalf of the government, particularly regime leader Alexander Lukashenko.

All US companies have one month to wind down any existing business with Belavia.

American sanctions against Belavia had thus far been limited to a denial of export privileges by the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), issued in June 2022. OFAC sanctions are far more comprehensive and ban practically all direct and indirect dealings with designated entities. The BIS denial, in turn, covers only direct sales of US-manufactured goods, services, and information.

OFAC simultaneously designated aircraft maintenance and manufacturing company Minsk Civil Aviation Plant 407, which primarily handles military aircraft.

The European Union sanctioned Belavia in December 2021, denying the airline access to the European market, airspace, and deals with EU-based companies.