05:41 GMT09 April 2020
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    Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei said that he will discuss the removal of sanctions imposed on Minsk by the EU.

    MINSK (Sputnik) – Belarusian diplomats will meet with European partners in the near future to discuss the removal of sanctions imposed on Minsk by the EU, the country's foreign minister Vladimir Makei said Friday.

    "We discuss all issues with our European colleagues," Makei said when asked whether the issue of sanctions was raised during the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.

    "Moreover, I would like to say that today the ministers of certain states… have today came forward with an initiative to meet with me later," the minister added.

    The European Union first imposed sanctions on Belarus in 2004 citing alleged violations of human rights and international electoral standards. The sanctions targeted the country's top officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko. The sanctions have been prolonged each year and, following the presidential elections of 2010, the list of targeted individuals was significantly expanded.

    The restrictive measures currently in place include a ban on arms trade, a ban of "exports of equipment for internal repression" as well as a travel ban and asset freeze on the officials allegedly responsible for the violations.

    Late in October 2014, the 28-member bloc prolonged its sanctions against Minsk for another year, saying that Belarus had not made enough progress in the sphere of human rights.

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    sanctions, European Union, Vladimir Makei, Belarus
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