The United States is weighing sanctions on seven Belarusians over their purported involvement in the falsification of the results of the presidential election in the country, a senior US official told Reuters on Tuesday.
According to the official, the punitive measures aim to "name, shame and hold accountable those who steal elections and use violence against peaceful protesters".
The US had already shared the names of the persons targeted by the sanctions weeks ago and now intends to discuss these measures in public in the coming days, the source added.
Russia could also be targeted by sanctions should it "intervene more overtly in Belarus", the official concluded.
On 9 August, the Belarusian opposition organised protests after disputing the results of the presidential election in which incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko was reelected for a sixth term by winning 80 percent of the vote. The opposition insists that its candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, won the election. Opposition figures also accuse the security forces of resorting to excessive violence during the protests.
According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, three people have died and several hundred others have sustained injuries during the ongoing unrest.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday stated that his country will survive any sanctions, and urged to stop threatening Belarus.
In the meantime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that there is no need for any third party to act as a mediator during the Belarusian political crisis, noting that countries like the US and Canada are trying to impose their own ideas upon a sovereign country.