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EU threatens with expanding its Belarussian blacklists

January 24, 2012, 2:05 UTC+3
Decisions to add persons and entities to the list of those targeted can be taken in the wake of this Council session
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BRUSSELS, January 24 (Itar-Tass) – More Belarussian officials and organizations may find themselves on the blacklists of the European Union, suggests a press release published at the official website of the European Council.

“The Council exchanged views on the situation in Belarus,” the document says. “It adopted a decision broadening the criteria for subjecting persons and entities to restrictive measures.”

“This paves the way for future designations of those responsible for serious human rights violations or the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition or supporting or benefiting from the Lukashenka /President Alexander Lukashenko/ regime,” the press release says.

“Decisions to add persons and entities to the list of those targeted can be taken in the wake of this Council session,” it warns.

On the face of it, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton made claims about what she described as “our continuing desire to engage with the people of Belarus.”

She reiterated the EU’s alleged “continuing concern that the government of Belarus does not respond to the needs of its people and to the important issues that we have raised consistently with them.”

The total number of Belarussian individuals blacklisted by the EU exceeds 200 now. The sanctions against them include the freezing of their bank accounts in European countries and a ban on the issuance of travel visas to them.

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