Belarus sanctions: EU delists 170 people, 3 companies; prolongs arms embargo
On 25 February 2016, the Council decided not to prolong restrictive measures for 170 people and three companies whose listings were already suspended. However, it extended the existing measures by one year, including an arms embargo on Belarus and an asset freeze and a travel ban against four people listed in connection with the unresolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, one businessman and one journalist.
On 29 October 2015, the Council suspended until 29 February 2016 an asset freeze and a travel ban for 170 individuals and a freeze on the assets of three companies in Belarus. The decision was taken in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August 2015, and in a context of improved EU-Belarus relations. It followed presidential elections held on 11 October 2015 in an environment free from violence.
The relevant legal acts were adopted on 25 February 2016, following a political decision taken by the Council on 15 February 2016. They will be published in the Official Journal of the EU on 27 February 2016.