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    EU says will only lift Belarus sanctions after political prisoners released

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    The European Union will not lift sanctions imposed on Belarusian officials until Minsk releases all political prisoners, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Monday.

    The European Union will not lift sanctions imposed on Belarusian officials until Minsk releases all political prisoners, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Monday.

    Rompuy noted that a year had passed since President Alexander Lukashenko’s crackdown on opposition activists protesting against his reelection.

    Hundreds of opposition activists, including former presidential candidates, were jailed in Belarus following protests after the December 2010 presidential elections. The opposition says the polls - which were criticized by international observers - were rigged.

    Earlier this month the European Union extended the list of 245 Belarusian officials banned from travelling to the EU and whose foreign assets were frozen over their alleged involvement in the clampdown on the country’s opposition.

     

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