EU expands sanctions against Belarusian authorities

29 companies and 12 people have been added to the "black list". Let us remind you, these numbers were reported before.

It is informed that the "black list" has been expanded for the cost of judges, prosecutors and businessmen who, in the opinion of the EU, bear responsibility for violation of human rights and repressions against the opposition and the civil society.

The list is expected to be officially presented later. However, the number of companies and persons corresponds with the preliminary suggestions. Therefore, we may guess that companies which belong to businessmen Anatol Tarnauski, Yury Chyzh and Uladzimir Peftsieu have been blacklisted. Before this expanding, the "black list" contained about 230 people of Belarus and 3 companies.

Before today's session, representatives of the EU stated that the Union would not retreat without release of political prisoners. In particular, 

EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has reminded about the EU"s main demand before the session of the Council of the EU which is taking place in Brussels.

Catherine Ashton: "I am deeply concerned about the situation with the Belarusian civil society. We send a clear message: the regime should release political prisoners. We are ready to settle down our relations if the Belarusian authorities do what we ask them to do".

Swedish Minister Carl Bildt has said that today's decision will be more severe:

Carl Bildt: "We are taking more severe measures now. I think that Mr. Lukashenka deserves this. We see the he has gone even farther away from Europe recently. This is the only European regime which has political prisoners, the only regime which has death penalty. The situation is horrible".