Aiming at facilitating political dialogue between the EU and Belarus, the Council of the European Union chose to suspend the travel ban imposed on Uladzimir Makey while he holds the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
This decision shall apply until 31 October 2013. It shall be kept under constant review. It may be renewed or amended, as appropriate, if the Council deems that its objectives have not been met, the Official Journal of the EU says.
The document does not specify the objectives. It is most likely that European politicians want Mr Makey to participate in November Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. But there are rumours that the Belarusian President himself would like to be invited to the high-profile meeting.
‘In order to facilitate diplomatic contacts between the EU and Belarus, the Council today suspended the EU travel ban on Uladzimir Makey, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr Makey will remain on the list of persons subject to EU restrictive measures, but the visa ban will not be applied to him,’ the Council’s press office said on June 24.
More than 243 Belarusian citizens, including Makey himself, are currently subject to travel bans and the same persons plus 32 business entities are subject to asset freezes within the EU for their role in human rights violations in Belarus and support of the current regime. Uladzimir Makey was blacklisted while he was serving as head of the Presidential Administration. In his position Makey followed Siarhei Martynau, who was released from his duties inconnection with “his transferring to other work”. The latter was not included in the black list.