Sanctions on Belarus extended for 1 year

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The European Union will prolong a freeze on restrictions against Belarus next week, but not lift the threat entirely due to a lack of progress on political reform, says a draft statement elaborated prior to Foreign Ministers' meeting due on November 16-17. Under the document, long-term freezing of sanctions was made possible due to the release of Belarusian pro-opposition figures.

The threat of sanctions will not be scrapped entirely given Belarus's lack of progress on democracy, Reuters reports. The EU wants to see electoral reform and movement on human rights, including an end to crackdowns on political activity and the media.

As well as political reforms, the EU wants Belarus to impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and move rapidly towards its abolition.

European Union imposed a ban on issuing visas to 36 Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko. Later on, Union observed electoral wrongdoings in the country during 2006 election. However, in 2008, it suspended sanctions to promote reforms in former Soviet republic.


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