EU suspends visa ban on Belarusian Foreign Minister Makey

On Monday 24, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on Monday suspended the EU’s entry ban against Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uladzimir Makey,  in order to facilitate diplomatic contacts between the EU and Belarus.

Nevertheless, Mr. Makey was not removed from a list of citizens of Belarus subject to asset freezes within the EU.

As Foreign Affairs Council says in its statement :

” In order to facilitate diplomatic contacts between the EU and Belarus, the Council today suspended the EU travel ban on Vladimir Makey, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr Makey will remain on the list of persons subject to EU restrictive measures, but the vis a ban will not be applied to him.
This decision does not reflect any change in the EU’s policy towards Belarus. The EU maintains its policy of critical engagement with Belarus, including its policy of sanctions, with a view to furthering the respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles in Belarus.
The Council will revert to this issue at the next annual review of the EU restrictive measures against Belarus in October and decide whether to extend the suspension”.
The Council’s decision will take after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal on June 25.

While speaking at a meeting of the EU foreign ministers in late April, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics suggested that the EU should resume political dialogue with Belarus, and that Mr. Makey should be invited to take part in the meeting of the foreign ministers of Eastern Partnership participating countries, which will take place in Brussels on July 22.

The European Union imposed the travel ban on Uladzimir Makey in January 2011 for his role in “the violations of international electoral standards” in the December 2010 presidential election and a post-election crackdown on government opponents. Mr. Makey was blacklisted while he was serving as head of the Presidential Administration. In August 2012, Mr. Makey was appointed to the position of foreign minister instead of Syarhey Martynaw, who was not on the EU’s blacklist.

As many as 241 Belarusian citizens, including Aliaksandr Lukashenka, are currently subject to travel bans and 242 persons plus 30 business entities are subject to asset freezes within the EU.

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