At the summit in Brussels on March 2, 2012 the leaders of the European Union countries called on the EU Council to take further measures toward Belarus, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said.
«The European Council expresses its serious and deepening concern over the further deterioration of the situation in Belarus. It welcomes the decision reached at the Council to extend the list of those responsible for serious human rights violations or the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition or supporting or benefitting from the Lukashenko regime to be targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze. The European Council invites the Council to proceed with its work on further measures. It reiterates the Union’s commitment to strengthening its engagement with the Belarusian civil society and to supporting the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people,» as quoted from the Conclusions of the European Council (1/2 March 2012).
On February 28, 2012 official Minsk recommended Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Belarus and Ambassador of Poland to Belarus to return to their capitals for consultations and «to convey to their leadership a firm position of the Belarusian side on inadmissibility of pressure and sanctions». The country also recalled its own ambassadors from Brussels and Warsaw. It was the reaction of Belarus that was caused by the EU Council decision to blacklist another 21 Belarusian officials.