European Parliament OKs Belarus sanctions

Dec. 18, 2009 at 12:49 PM

MINSK, Belarus, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The European Parliament adopted a resolution that supports maintaining sanctions against Belarus officials to prompt greater democratization.

The Parliament said in a release in addition to supporting a European Council decision on sanctions, EU lawmakers chose to adopt a resolution Thursday that delays imposition of travel restrictions on Belarus until October 2010.

Parliamentary members said in the resolution Belarus has not made additional strides in providing fundamental freedoms and human rights for its citizens.

The European Parliament did applaud Belarus for allowing two independent newspapers to be distributed, as well as the country's decision to release political prisoners and become actively involved in the European Union's Eastern Partnership.

The Parliament criticized the lack of progress in Belarus in the areas of electoral code reform, the abolishment of the death penalty and guarantees of increase media freedoms in the Eastern European country.

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