Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Belarus, Lidia Yermoshina believes that the EU visa sanctions against the Belarusian officials impede the work of the CEC at the international level. According to Lidia Yermoshina, visa restrictions indicate the EU political bias.
The members of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, targeted by the EU sanctions, have recently been unable to participate in professional conferences in the European countries, as well as to monitor the elections in the EU, BelaPAN reports.
According to Lidia Yermoshina, the current CEC comprises only a few people free of the EU visa bans. However, they can't be sent to abroad trips as observers without prior training by the more experienced CEC members.
"They should first study the algorithms of actions in practice. In addition, a number of activities involve participation of the CEC chairman or management in international events", explained Lidia Yermoshina.
The EU Council refused to lift sanctions against members of the Belarusian CEC
Belarusian Central Electoral Commission sent a letter to the General Secretariat of the EU Council, demanding to justify the EU's position to close its borders to the Belarusian CEC members. The response states that the EU officials consider the previously introduced visa sanctions as justified, while the CEC arguments to lift the sanctions – ill founded.
Lidia Yermoshina believes that the EU's answer was absolutely formal, given without thorough consideration.
"We appealed the illegal decision, restricting the CEC members' right to leave the country. However, the guilty of the Central Commission was proved by no one", explained Lidia Yermoshina.
EU countries imposed visa sanctions on the Belarusian president and about 150 Belarusian officials after the crackdown on the opposition rally, held after the presidential elections on December 19, 2010. Some representatives of the Belarusian Central Election Commission were also included in the "black list" of the EU.
The CEC Chairman, Lidia Yermoshina, considers the lists of persons targeted by visa sanctions, as death lists.