Editor’s Note: The following is reprinted from The Jamestown Foundation, which originally published the article here (http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=38917).
Both the European Union and the United States are stepping up pressure on the Belarusian regime, which is targeted because of its continuing violations of human rights and treatment of political prisoners, as well as its introduction of new laws, the most recent of which restrict Internet access. On the other hand, the country sinks inexorably into the Russian orbit, with less and less chance of extricating itself. Is there a way out of this dilemma? Is Western policy on Belarus correct?
In early January, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Belarus Human Rights and Democracy Act, which amends and updates the earlier laws of 2004 and 2006. Among other stipulations, the Act will expand to the perpetrators of the post-2010 election crackdown both visa and financial sanctions.