The human rights group Amnesty International estimated some 400 people had been executed since 1991 in Belarus.
Belarus is moving closer to a moratorium on the death penalty, a senior judicial official said on Wednesday after Amnesty International said it must be abolished if the ex-Soviet state wanted better ties with Europe. Belarus has been trying to improve ties with Europe after years of accusations by the West of rights abuses. The European Union lifted a travel ban on President Alexander Lukashenko after saying Belarus had released political prisoners last year.
The human rights group Amnesty International estimated some 400 people had been executed since 1991 in Belarus, the only country in Europe and the former Soviet Union that still carries out the death penalty.
"We have in essence come closer to a moratorium on the death penalty," said Valery Kalinkovich, deputy chairman of the Supreme Court. "The death penalty was carried out on two people in 2008."
Amnesty said in a report released on Tuesday that four people were executed last year. That compares with 48 in 1998.
Belarussian authorities have said capital punishment was an internal affair and cited a 1996 referendum in which the majority of people voted to keep the death sentence.
Belarus has applied to join the Council of Europe, one of the oldest human rights institutions, but cannot do so until it has abolished the death penalty. The EU also requires its abolition before applicant countries can join the bloc.