The FINANCIAL — On 27 February the European Council announced a prolongation of the restrictive measures against Belarus for one year, until 28 February 2018.
This includes an arms embargo, an asset freeze and a travel ban against four people listed in connection with the unresolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, one businessman and one journalist.
The Council also introduced an exemption to the restrictive measures to allow the export of biathlon equipment to Belarus, which will remain subject to prior authorisation by the relevant national authorities on a case by case basis, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
On 15 February 2016, the Council decided to lift the restrictive measures against 170 individuals and three companies, while maintaining the arms embargo and the sanctions against the four people.
Tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, rule of law and human rights will remain key for the shaping of the EU’s future policy towards Belarus, as stated in the Council’s conclusions of 15 February 2016.