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Country News

21 March 2011

Over 150 EU, USA representatives banned from entering Belarus

MINSK, 21 March (BelTA) – Belarus has prepared and has been implementing measures in response to the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials. The reciprocal measures will affect over 150 people from the European Union and the USA, the news agency Interfax West quoted a source in the government. Among other people the measures will affect President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, member of the European Parliament Jacek Protasiewicz and several other politicians, parliamentarians, journalists, who are renowned for their most odious initiatives with regard to Belarus. The source said that restrictions had been enforced with regard to issuing visas to “several people, who treat the Republic of Belarus in a most biased and destructive manner, who played the key role in spinning up the crisis in relations between Belarus and the West”. However, Belarus will go beyond using visa sanctions. Several other reciprocal measures may involve matters of transboundary cooperation, the operation of certain foreign foundations and NGOs in Belarus. The measures are likely to be proportional and differential instead of Belarus responding to the US and EU sanctions in a mirror-like way. It has been reported earlier that on 31 January the EU Council enforced visa sanctions against 157 Belarusian officials. The list is headed by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. On 21 March the heads of the foreign ministries of the European Union member states are supposed to decide on expanding the list of no-entry Belarusian officials.

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