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EU to consider suspending sanctions against Belarus next week

August 24, 2015, 11:55 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

According to EU officials, the prisoner release marked important progress towards the improvement of relations between the EU and Belarus

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© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

BRUSSELS, August 24. /TASS/. EU foreign ministers are due to consider plans of suspending sanctions against Belarus at an informal meeting in Luxembourg on September 4-5, a European source told TASS on Monday.

"The decision of President [Alexander] Lukashenko on releasing jailed opposition leaders creates conditions for suspending the sanctions. This will be discussed on September 4-5," the diplomat said.

Some EU countries have called for suspending the sanctions against Minsk for at least a year.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, the commissioner for European neighborhood policy & enlargement negotiations, earlier said the prisoner release marked "important progress towards the improvement of relations between the EU and Belarus."

Lukashenko announced a decision on August 22 to pardon and free ex-presidential candidate Nikolay Statkevich and a number of other jailed opposition figures whom the EU has called "political prisoners."

Statkevich was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to six and a half years in jail for staging mass disorders in December that year after the presidential elections in Belarus.

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