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 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...