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EU Lift Belarus Sanctions

The European Union has temporarily lifted sanctions against the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko and 170 other individuals. 

A statement from the EU Council confirmed the decision last week will last until the end of February 2016.

The sanctions, in place since 2010 and expanded two years later, included visa bans for the president and other high profile individuals, and were lifted due to the recent release of political prisoners in the country.

Belarusian people generally speaking, suffer very difficult travel restrictions to the European Union, more so than Russians or Ukrainians. Travel visas are given only on a short term basis, and are charged at a higher rate.

Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994, was recently elected for a fifth term under hugely controversial circumstances.

Russia has claimed the lifting of sanctions is an attempt by the European Union to bring a Russian ally closer to Europe.

The European Union have kept an arms embargo with Belarus in force. In addition, four members of Lukashenko’s security services are still subject to the travel ban and an asset freeze, due to unresolved disappearances in the country.

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