The Council of the European Union has suspended for four months the asset freeze and travel ban applying to 170 individuals and the asset freeze applying to three entities in Belarus. This decision was taken in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations.
The release of all political prisoners was a long-sought step by the European Union. Through the suspension of most restrictive measures the EU has reacted to this progress, encouraging further positive developments that would lead to an improvement of EU-Belarus relations. The EU will continue to closely monitor the situation of democracy and human rights in Belarus.
Restrictive measures against persons and entities were due to expire on 31 October. The Council has prolonged these measures for four months, until 29 February 2016, and at the same time suspended them for 170 persons and for three entities. Four persons involved in unresolved disappearances in Belarus remain subject to restrictive measures. The arms embargo also continues to apply.
The Council also updated the list of persons and entities to take account of recent case law.
The decision was adopted by written procedure. Legal acts, including details on the persons and entities concerned, are published in the EU official journal of 30 October and enter into force on 31 October.