Belarus 'dictator' banned from entering EU and US
Saturday 25 March 2006
The re-elected president of Belarus, Alexander Luka-shenko, has been cast into international isolation after his security forces launched a fresh crackdown on opposition leaders.
Mr Lukashenko, who has been described as Europe's last dictator, will be banned from entering the 25 nations of the EU - including Ukraine's neighbours, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania - and from the US.
The EU had already promised to increase its sanctions against Belarus after denouncing last Sunday's elections as flawed. But EU countries were hesitating over whether to include Mr Lukashenko, giving him the same pariah status as Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe. Those doubts were swept aside after a crackdown on protesters in Minsk who were complaining about the conduct of the elections and seeking to emulate the demonstrations seen in Ukraine before the orange revolution in December 2004. The opposition said 500 people were detained.
EU heads of government promised to take "restrictive measures against those responsible for the violations of international standards, including Mr Lukashenko". Washington quickly announced that it would follow suit.
EU diplomats are drawing up a list of Belarussian officials who will be targeted by "smart sanctions" and final decisions will be taken on 10 April. Asset bans are also being considered though there is no reliable information on whether Mr Lukashenko has financial holdings in western Europe. Poland's Foreign Minister, Stefan Meller, said the list of those affected was still being drawn up and it was likely to be extensive.
Official results from Sunday's election showed that Mr Lukashenko had won a landslide victory over the opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich. But international observers said the vote was neither free nor fair with the opposition denied access to the media.
EU leaders demanded a release of all protesters. Mr Milinkevich may be invited to the next meeting of EU foreign ministers in April.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...