EU foreign ministers to discuss Belarus issue on February 15

The Belarus issue is on the agenda of a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union scheduled for February 15, the Council’s spokesperson told news agency BelaPAN. 

“Belarus is on the agenda of FAC on 15 February, but at this stage I can’t yet provide you with the details,” the spokesperson said.

Before February 29, the EU should decide whether to re-impose its restrictive measures against Belarusian authorities, prolong their suspension or abolish them altogether.

On October 29, the EU Council decided to suspend the application of the restrictions against 171 Belarusian individuals and 10 economic entities for four months, “in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on August 22 and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations.”

Simultaneously, the Council prolonged its restrictive measures, due to expire on October 31, until February 29, 2016.

Entry bans and asset freezes remained in place for the “four persons involved in unresolved disappearances in Belarus,” namely, former Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumau, former Prosecutor General Viktar Sheyman, former Interior Minister Yury Sivakou, and Dzmitry Paulichenka, a former commander of an Interior Troops unit.  An “arms embargo” also continues to apply.

The EU foreign ministers drew up their blacklist of Belarusian individuals and economic entities in January 2011, following a brutal police crackdown on a post-election protest in Minsk. The list was repeatedly extended and included as many as 243 Belarusian individuals and 32 business entities at one point., via BelaPAN

See also