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Bush Freezes US Assets of Lukashenko and Other Top Belarusian Officials


President Bush has signed an executive order freezing the U.S. assets of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and nine other senior government officials in the former Soviet republic.

The move bars Americans and U.S. companies from doing business with any of the officials.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement Monday that the Lukashenko government is corrupt and responsible for human rights abuses as well as undermining Belarusian democracy.

President Bush told Congress when he announced his decision to freeze Belarusian assets that there is no place in Europe for such a regime.

The European Union froze Lukashenko assets last month and joined the United States in imposing a travel ban on Belarusian senior government officials.

President Lukashenko was elected to a third term in March in a vote the West calls a fraud. Mr. Bush has called him Europe's last dictator.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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