Minsk joined the visa war with Europe and the U.S.

The European Council today expanded the list of Belarusian officials banned from entering its territory, to one-hundred seventy-seventh to Alexander Lukashenko, his older sons, heads of electoral commissions responsible for the falsification of election results on December 19, representatives of the state-owned media, law enforcement agencies responsible for the dispersal of shares protest, prosecutors and judges added that harsh sentences arrested opposition leaders. Meanwhile the Belarusian government declared their visa sanctions in return — against members of the European Union and the United States.

The European Council endorsed the decision to extend the restrictive measures (visa and financial) against Belarusian officials responsible for electoral fraud and repression of civil society. As the press service of the European Council, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Union of 27 countries included in the list of representatives of the Belarusian regime, for which there is a ban on travel to Europe and the freezing of assets, 19 others. A complete list will be published in the March 22 edition of the "Official Journal".

As previously stated, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, "according to the decision of the Council on Foreign Relations January 31, the list of persons to whom restrictive measures imposed, remains open and is constantly reviewed in light of the further development of the situation in Belarus."

The basis for such an extension "black list" were trials that started against those arrested during the crackdown on December 19, and the harsh sentences the accused. The total number of officials of the Belarusian regime, who are forbidden to visit Europe and whose accounts are frozen, up to one-hundred seventy-seventh First of all it added to the prosecutors and judges who acted in criminal proceedings against the demonstrators on 19 December.

Human rights activist Tatyana Ravyaka, who follow the latest lawsuits, convinced of the correctness of such measures.

Tatiana Ravyaka

"Judges are well aware that they make unlawful sentences that do not conform to our laws, regulations, and, of course, it must be a corresponding reaction. And if within the target country can not be achieved if there is no other mechanism to restore the rule of law and the rights it is necessary to use of the mechanisms that are left — primarily international. "

Under the visa and property sanctions were also rectors of Belarusian universities, the students were excluded for opposition activities.

In addition, the updated "black list" of Belarusian officials have corrected some errors in spelling of names. Several names were recorded in English in transcription Russian language instead of Belarus, which gave made to the list of the Belarusian regime figures chance to enter the territory of the European Union.

Today it became known that the Belarusian authorities have prepared a response to the EU decision to impose sanctions against Belarusian officials.

The visa ban will affect more than 150 people in the European Union and the United States, said Interfax source in government circles.

Some names were mentioned — European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, MEP Jacek Protasiewicz.

In addition, Belarus threatens to limit activity on the territory of Belarus, foreign foundations and non-governmental organizations.

This approach Belarusian authorities suggests that the EU and U.S. sanctions them annoying, though not forced to make concessions, says Ming political analyst Andrei Fedorov

Andrei Fedorov

"They are annoying, and so he, as promised, to impose sanctions in response. Another thing is that the same Buzek and Protasevich not so much sought here. Bulk of the 150 — I'm not sure that they too would be in Belarus, especially now. Unlike the majority of those who are on our side came under the sanctions. "

Andrei Fedorov believes sanctions Belarusian completely ineffective. This is just an attempt to Minsk again show his stubbornness, he said.

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