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European Union Foreign Minister Passed Sanctions Against Three Belarusian Companies

30.06.2011

No. 224-E

At their meeting today in Luxembourg, the European Union foreign ministers decided to pass sanctions against the Belarusian regime.

“Since the human rights situation in Belarus keeps getting worse, all potential steps were under discussion, including implementing supplementary economic measures,” said Foreign Minister Urmas Paet. “Sanctions were passed against three Belarusian companies that are closely tied to Lukashenko’s regime,” Paet explained.

Paet feels that in implementing all of the sanctions, we must ensure that they are effective and that the regular citizens of Belarus will not suffer as a result. “The European Union’s policy towards Belarus includes pressure on the current regime on the one hand and support for civil society on the other,” he noted.

The European Union is concerned about human rights violations as well as the position of democracy and rule of law in Belarus and condemns the taking of political prisoners, repression and persecution of representatives of civil society, political trials behind held against the opposition, and the limiting of media freedom. According to the Estonian foreign minister, the European Union is calling on Belarus to end these kinds of activities.

Estonia feels it is necessary to increase support for civil society in Belarus and facilitate contacts with Belarusian people.

In January 2011 the European Union passed entry and travel bans as well as financial sanctions on Belarusian officials that were directly tied to the violence and mass arrests that took place after the presidential election on 19 December 2010. In March judges and prosecutors who were tied to the trials for participants in the disturbances were also added to the list.

Additional information:
Helen Ennok, press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee

 

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