Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

"Todos somos Americanos"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Sydney siege: Australians show solidarity with Muslims

Read more

ENCORE!

"Charlie's Country" director Rolf de Heer on the contemporary Aboriginal condition

Read more

FOCUS

Hunt for Joseph Kony and LRA militants continues

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

‘China needs Tibetan culture of peace,’ says Dalai Lama

Read more

FACE-OFF

Immigration in France: Hollande slams scaremongers

Read more

ENCORE!

'Charlie's Country' director Rolf de Heer on the contemporary Aboriginal condition

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Egypt: Gay community fears government crackdown

Read more

DEBATE

Taliban school massacre: At least 140 dead in Peshawar assault (part 2)

Read more

Europe

EU nations recall envoys from Belarus in sanctions row

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-28

All member states of the European Union are to recall their ambassadors from Belarus, it was announced on Tuesday, as a diplomatic row with Minsk escalates. The move comes a day after the EU slapped a series of new sanctions on the country.

AP - The European Union is recalling all member countries’ ambassadors from Belarus after the authoritarian government there asked EU and Polish envoys to leave its soil due to a dispute over new sanctions.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made the announcement late Tuesday, hours after the Belarusian foreign ministry said the EU and Polish ambassadors should leave. Belarus also said it was withdrawing its ambassadors to Poland and the EU.

There was no comment from Belarus on Ashton’s announcement of a bloc-wide recall.

The moves came one day after the EU Council voted to add 21 names to a list of some 200 Belarusian officials prevented from traveling to EU countries because of human rights violations. The officials also face an assets freeze.

The EU sanctions target the authoritarian country’s repression of political opposition, including frequent jailings.

They date back to the December 2010 presidential elections, in which more than 700 people _ including seven candidates _ were arrested in the wake of a massive protest against alleged vote fraud. Strongman President Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, decried Belarus’ move on Tuesday, saying: “I consider it a hostile act.”

“It is intolerable for us as Europeans to see human rights and citizens’ rights in Belarus thus violated. This is the last dictatorship in Europe, » German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

Lukashenko has led Belarus since 1994, retaining Soviet-style controls over the economy and cracking down on opposition and independent media.

His predecessor, Stanislav Shushkevich, said Tuesday’s moves appeared to signal a step-up in repression.

“Lukashenko needs confrontation with the EU in order to be unhindered in putting more political prisoners in jail,” he told The Associated Press.

 

Date created : 2012-02-28

  • RUSSIA

    Russia secures ownership of Belarus gas pipelines

    Read more

  • BELARUS

    Fledgling opposition questioned over Minsk bombing

    Read more

  • BELARUS

    Arrests made after Minsk metro bombing

    Read more

COMMENT(S)