Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Belarusian Democrats Call Upon EU To Extend Sanctions Against Lukashenkas Regime

Changes that have taken place in the country over half a year have only cosmetic nature.

It is said in the statement adopted by the Presidium of the Political Council of the United Democratic Forces.

On November 16 the half year moratorium on visa sanctions of the European Union against some Belarusian officials including Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In this connection lifting of the sanctions will be discussed at the session of the Council of the European Union.

The Presidium of the Political Council of the United Democratic Forces notes in its statement that "changes that have taken place in the country over half a year, have just cosmetic and demonstrative nature, and have not had an effect on the basic foundations of the authoritarian system which has established in Belarus,".

In this situation leaders of the UDF find extension of the moratorium on visa sanctions for next 6 months the most "logical and balanced" decision.

"It would be appropriate to return to this question after elections of local councils deputies would be finished in Belarus, which could become a criterion of sincerity of the authorities in carrying out democratic reforms," the document notes.

Under the term free and democratic elections the Belarusian opposition means liberalization of the electoral legislation and resignation of the Central Election Commission, freedom of mass media, democratization of the laws regulating activities of political parties and public associations.

Besides, the UDF leaders demand from authorities to release political prisoners and stop all forms of political repressions.

"Holding free and democratic elections could become a reliable foundation for further development of political and economic dialogue of the European Union and official Minsk," the statement emphasizes.