Maja Kocijancic: Changes in black lists do not mean changes in policy

On May 29 the official publication of the European Union shortened the list of the Belarusian officials banned from entering the EU member states by one person. "All restrictions withdrawn" from the former deputy editor of the newspaper "SB Belarus Today" Hanna Shadryna. Two Belarusian companies are also free from limitations now - the alcohol plant "Akvadiv" (under sanctions since March 23, 2012) and "Sport-Pari" (since June 2011).

According to Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, this step doesn't mean changing of the policy with regard to Belarus.

Maja Kocijancic: The Council of the EU systematically revises the legal act that concern the Belarusian officials and companies. Now it was decided that there were no more grounds to keep this person and two companies under the sanctions. We took this decision in the framework of our common policy. It is important to underline that the changes in the black lists do not mean changes in the policy with regard to Belarus.

The political decision on visa and economic sanctions against Belarus was adopted by the Council of the EU on January 31, 2011 in Brussels, where the EU foreign ministers approved a list of Belarusian officials responsible for human rights violations during the presidential campaign. These persons are not allowed to visit the territory of the EU, and their accounts and property in EU countries should be frozen.