Not yet clear whether EU will hold discussion over sanctions against Belarusian officials
11 íîÿáðÿ 2009, 16:57
It is not yet clear whether the European Union’s foreign ministers will discuss the temporary suspension of the bloc’s sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenka and other Belarusian officials at their meeting on November 16 and 17.
The discussion is only marked as a possible item on the meeting’s agenda, the press office of the EU Swedish Presidency told BelaPAN.
The matter is still being discussed by EU member countries’ permanent representations in Brussels, the press office said.
Swedish Ambassador Stefan Eriksson told BelaPAN that the discussions, indeed, continued. He said that it is still most likely that the EU would make a decision next week whether to resume the sanctions.
In October 2008, the European Union suspended for six months its travel ban against Mr. Lukashenka and 35 other Belarusian officials. In March 2009, the EU foreign ministers decided not to reimpose the travel sanctions and agreed to extend the suspension by nine months in a bid to encourage the Belarusian government to strengthen the country`s ties with the EU and carry out "further concrete measures towards democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."
On November 16 and 17, the EU foreign ministers were expected to consider whether the bloc should fully lift, reimpose or extend the suspension of the sanctions.