Updated at 10:54,14-11-2017

Eight more countries lift sanctions against Belarus

Euroradio

Following the EU example, eight European countries that are not EU members have lifted sanctions against 170 Belarusian officials and three companies. They are Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. "The EU takes note of and welcomes this commitment," BelaPAN quotes the statement of the European External Action Service Head Federica Mogherini.

The eight countries joined the EU sanctions against Belarus in 2012.

As Euroradio informed earlier, on February 15, 2016, the first EU Foreign Ministers' Council did not renew sanctions against 170 Belarusian individuals and three companies. It was noted that the Council appreciates the steps taken by the Belarusian authorities over the last two years to improve relations with the European Union. This and the country's active participation in the Eastern Partnership, as well as the resumption of dialogue on human rights and the beginning of negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreement. The "constructive role of Belarus in the region" was also appreciated.

But Brussels remains concerned about the human rights situation in our country and once again reminds us that "Belarus-EU relations should be based on common values, especially respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law."

Sanctions were retained in respect of only four Belarusians, which the EU considers involved in the disappearances of 1999-2000: former Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumau, former head of the Presidential Administration Viktar Sheiman, Yury Sivakou (during the disappearance of politicians held the post of Minister of Internal Affairs) and the Brigade Commander of the Interior Ministry Special forces Dzmitry Pauliuchenka. The EU has also retained the arms embargo.