Updated at 18:29,16-01-2018

EU Commission denies funding Belarus security forces


The European Commission has categorically denied a story appearing in the "Sunday Telegraph" that EU aid money has been given to Belarusian security forces.

The British newspaper claimed in a story that funds intended to help civil society in the country instead has gone to providing training and equipment to the police force and border guards of Belarus.

A commission spokesperson said that Brussels had financed four-wheel-drive vehicles and night-vision equipment for border guards in order to prevent illegal trafficking and the smuggling of goods on the border between the EU and Belarus, but that all projects that receive funding have been discussed and approved by all EU member states.

The EU also underlined that its money is earmarked for so-called "neutral sectors" where it cannot be used to enhance the regime in Minsk.