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Lukashenko no longer persona non grata

Lukashenko no longer persona non grata
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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is once more free to enter the EU. The European Union is suspending a travel ban which targeted him and other officials. The bloc imposed the sanctions after critics internationally accused Lukashenko of rigging his re-election in 2006.

Belarus’ top diplomat, Serhiy Martynov, has been attending the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg. The warming of relations followed the release of political prisoners in Belarus.

But the EU has kept the regime’s top election commissioner blacklisted to show it disapproves of last month’s parliamentary election in Minsk, in which no opposition candidates won seats.

Some EU countries are more determined to keep up pressure on Minsk. Financial measures against the Belarus administration have not been lifted. Extending the six month suspension of the visa ban would require the support of all the EU states.

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