US President Barack Obama has extended until August 17, 2013 the validity of the export control regulations under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IIEPA) with respect to certain countries, including Belarus.
As a statement on the website of the White House says, the act was adopted in October 1977 "with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." The act was amended by the Export Administration Act of 1979. Since the export administration act expired and has not been renewed by the Congress, the US president continues the national emergency regarding the export control regulations under the IIEPA annually.
Belarus has been subjected to the US export control regulations since 2006 "for undermining democratic institutions." In 2011, it was again entered in the list of countries, with respect to which the national emergency is being continued, because Belarus’ government officials "committed human rights abuses related to political repression." At present the list includes Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Syria, North Korea, and Russia. Russia was entered in the list in 2000 "to prevent export of weapons-grade uranium."
Two months ago President Obama extended by one year the US sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and nine other Belarusian officials. The decision was made because "the Government of Belarus has taken additional steps backward in the development of democratic governance and respect for human rights."