[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 21 (Tuesday, February 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5482-5483]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-2178]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Office of Foreign Assets Control

31 CFR Part 548


Belarus Sanctions Regulations

AGENCY: Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets 
Control (``OFAC'') is amending the Belarus Sanctions Regulations in the 
Code of Federal Regulations to revoke a general license authorizing 
U.S. persons to engage until May 31, 2011, in otherwise prohibited 
transactions with two blocked entities, Lakokraska OAO and/or Polotsk 
Steklovolokno OAO.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective February 11, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Assistant Director for Compliance,

[[Page 5483]]

Outreach & Implementation, tel.: 202/622-2490, Assistant Director for 
Licensing, tel.: 202/622-2480, Assistant Director for Policy, tel.: 
202/622-4855, Office of Foreign Assets Control, or Chief Counsel 
(Foreign Assets Control), tel.: 202/622-2410, Office of the General 
Counsel, Department of the Treasury (not toll free numbers).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic and Facsimile Availability

    This document and additional information concerning OFAC are 
available from OFAC's Web site (http://www.treas.gov/ofac). Certain 
general information pertaining to OFAC's sanctions programs also is 
available via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 
202/622-0077.

Background

    Following the December 19, 2010 presidential elections in Belarus 
and the announcement by state-run media on election night that 
President Lukashenko had received approximately 80 percent of the vote, 
some opposition candidates and their supporters gathered at 
Independence Square in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to protest. 
Belarusian riot police beat and arrested over 600 protesters, including 
most of the opposition candidates and many journalists, human rights 
activists, and civil society representatives. Press reports indicate 
that as of January 18, at least 31 protesters (including several 
opposition candidates) remain in jail, facing up to 15 years in prison 
on charges of organizing or participating in mass riots. Since the 
demonstration, the government has engaged in a further crackdown 
against offices and members of political parties, civil society and 
independent media.
    While the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's 
(OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) 
noted that the presidential election showed certain improvements over 
previous elections, ODIHR observed significant flaws during the vote 
count. ODIHR determined that the lack of transparency in the vote count 
undermined any improvements in the electoral process. The post-election 
violence further marred the presidential elections and drew 
condemnation from the United States and the European Union. On December 
23, 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High 
Representative Catherine Ashton issued a joint statement calling for 
the immediate release of all opposition protesters taken into custody 
following the presidential elections. Secretary Clinton and High 
Representative Ashton also deemed the flawed vote count and post-
election violence an ``unfortunate step backwards'' for democracy and 
human rights in Belarus.
    In light of these recent developments and the decision by the 
Government of Belarus to close the Minsk office of the OSCE, OFAC is 
amending the Belarus Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 548 (the 
``Regulations''), to revoke the general license in section 548.509 
authorizing U.S. persons to engage until May 31, 2011, in all otherwise 
prohibited transactions with two blocked entities, Lakokraska OAO and/
or Polotsk Stoklovolokno OAO. This license had been issued in 2008 in 
response to the Belarusian Government's release of its political 
prisoners. The revocation of the general license in section 548.509 of 
the Regulations will be effective on February 11, 2011. This delayed 
effective date gives U.S. persons a reasonable period of time to wind 
down and terminate any transactions previously entered into with 
Lakokraska OAO and/or Polotsk Stoklovolokno OAO under section 548.509 
of the Regulations.

Public Participation

    Because the amendments of the Regulations involve a foreign affairs 
function, the provisions of Executive Order 12866 and the 
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of 
proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in 
effective date are inapplicable. Because no notice of proposed 
rulemaking is required for this rule, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612) does not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collections of information related to the Regulations are 
contained in 31 CFR part 501 (the ``Reporting, Procedures and Penalties 
Regulations''). Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3507), those collections of information have been approved by 
the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1505-0164. An 
agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of 
information displays a valid control number.

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 548

    Administrative practice and procedure, Banks, Banking, Belarus, 
Blocking of assets, Credit, Foreign trade, Penalties, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Securities, Services.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the 
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control amends 31 CFR part 548 as 
follows:

PART 548--BELARUS SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 548 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 3 U.S.C. 301; 31 U.S.C. 321(b); 50 U.S.C. 1601-1651, 
1701-1706; Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); 
Pub. L. 110-96, 121 Stat. 1011 (50 U.S.C. 1705 note); E.O. 13405, 71 
FR 35485; 3 CFR, 2007 Comp., p. 231.

Subpart E--Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing 
Policy


Sec.  548.509  [Removed]

0
2. Remove Sec.  548.509.

    Dated: January 25, 2011.
Adam J. Szubin,
Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.
[FR Doc. 2011-2178 Filed 1-31-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P