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EU extends sanctions against Belarus by one year

February 27, 2017, 13:40 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

A year ago, the European Union lifted sanctions against 170 Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko

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BRUSSELS, February 27. /TASS/. The European Union (EU) has prolonged the restrictive measures against Belarus by one year, the EU press service reported on Monday.

"On 27 February 2017, the Council decided to prolong the restrictive measures against Belarus for one year, until 28 February 2018," the press service said.

The document noted that Brussels extended an embargo on supplies of weapons and special-purpose police vehicles along with visa restrictions against four Belarusian officials. The council allowed national governments of the EU member-countries to make decisions on exporting biathlon equipment to Belarus.

"Tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, rule of law and human rights will remain key for the shaping of the EU's future policy towards Belarus," the EU said.

The EU imposed the first batch of visa sanctions against Belarus and its President Alexander Lukashenko in 2002 over human rights violations. The package has been repeatedly revised since them, and they were frozen three times. In February 2016, the EU partially lifted sanctions against Minsk, which were in force for more than 13 years. Brussels did not extend sanctions against 170 Belarusian officials, including Lukashenko, and three companies. However, an arms embargo and sanctions against four Belarusian nationals continue to be in effect.

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