Eight Belarusian officials dropped from a list of Belarusian officials subject to EU sanctions over human rights abuses.
However, the EU Council has added one name to the list. As Euroradio
informs, on July 9, the Council of the EU announced its decision to add one more person to the black list of government and law-enforcement officials and businessmen – Vital Volkau
, Shklou District Court judge. Two year ago, he ruled to transfer political prisoner Mikola Statkevich
to a higher-security prison.
"In the light of the continuing gravity of the human rights situation, it added one person to the list of those subject to restrictions," a council statement on July 8 said. "At the same time, it considered that there are no longer grounds for keeping eight individuals subject to sanctions."
The official reaction followed right after the EU announcement. Thus, Belarusian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Dzmitry Mironchyk
declined to comment on the updated EU sanctions against Belarus officials
. “We do not think it necessary to comment on this decision of the Council of the European Union. Our position is well known and it has not changed. We insist on the abolition of all the sanctions,”
quotes him saying.
When asked by reporters to comment on the expansion of the EU sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian citizens, Dzmitry Mironchyk noted: “Belarus' attitude to sanctions, to unilateral coercive measures, is well-known. We believe that sanctions are counterproductive and unacceptable in international politics”.
Let us recall that a total of 225 individuals, including President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, currently are subject to EU travel bans and all of them, plus 25 companies, are subject to asset freezes.
The blacklist was drawn up in January 2011, after a brutal police crackdown on a protest following the 2010 presidential election.