EU to Lift Sanctions against Belarus

The European Union will lift nearly all of its sanctions against Belarus, saying Minsk has managed to “improve its human rights record.”

The EU said in a statement on Thursday that it would now end asset freeze and travel ban against 170 individuals, including President Alexander Lukashenko, and three entities in Belarus.


The statement said EU foreign ministers agreed to end the sanctions during a meeting earlier this month. It said the decision came after Lukashenko released the last political prisoners and held an “acceptable” presidential election in October 2015—which was won by Lukashenko with 83 percent of the vote.

The EU said, however, that some sanctions will remain in place for one more year, including those against “four people listed in connection with the unresolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, one businessman and one journalist.”

Another long-standing arms embargo on Minsk would also be maintained for another year, the statement said.

It said EU foreign ministers had hailed in their meeting the release of prisoners as a “long sought step” which together with the October vote created “an opportunity for EU–Belarus relations to develop on a more positive agenda.”

Reports from Brussels at the time showed that some EU members had reservations about sanction relief. However, the decision emerged after ministers reached the conclusion that dropping sanctions was the best option for monitoring the human rights situation.

The decision is also reportedly rooted in efforts by Lukashenko to mediate between warring sides of the conflict in Ukraine, including his hosting a series of meetings that led to a shaky peace deal in February 2014.

Lukashenko has been in power in Belarus since 1994.

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  1. This deal was motivated by the economic prosperity that Lukashenko has created single handedly in Belarus and the desire of EU corporations to access the market as well as power play by EU to pull Belarus away from Russia and Putin. For the EU to claim concern with human rights while importing thirld world masses to commit crimes on their indigenous European population is the height of hypocrisy.

    1. Especially when it’s obvious that the broad mass of real ethnic Europeans simply don’t want the black/brown invaders amongst them, and recall couldn’t give a damn about the invaders or their fate.

      1. At some point, Europeans are going to have to use force against the corrupt politicians and against the invaders. Simply saying “We don’t like it” doesn’t mean anything if we aren’t doing anything to stop it.

  2. The EU is as bad, if not worse than The USA when it comes to interference in others domestic affairs.

    Ukraine was a perfect example & Poland is in their sights.
    Eastern European countries must leave the EU.
    Seek moral support from Putin,moral support only. That Russian bear has very sharp claws but Putin needs a couple of new friends!

    1. instead of whining what our enemies are doing to us, what are we doing in response? I could cry and say “Golly gee, these burglars want into my house!” but that means nothing if I’m not going to stop them.

  3. The REAL ‘fascist dictatorship’ is the EU.
    I just wish more Europeans would grow up and realise it.

    If you are British, you must vote to ‘leave’ in June’s EU referendum.

  4. Anyone could see that the migrant crisis needed to be stopped in its tracks right at the beginning to avoid a massive escalation. The EU didn’t do this so they have this huge crisis now getting worse by the hour and they still don’t have a clue what to do. Tusk telling them not to come is not going to work, it is laughable. They are incapable of dealing with a crisis like this. Hungary and Austria have done what was necessary. An excellent reason why we should leave, though there are many other excellent reasons to leave and no valid reason to stay.

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