UK says lifting Belarus sanctions was the “best outcome given differing opinions”

The House of Commons EU Scrutiny Committee (meeting summary here) asked the Europe Minister to comment on the EU’s decision to lift its Belarus sanctions against 170 people and 3 entities on 15 February 2016, leaving only 4 people still listed (see previous blog). The Minister David Lidington stated that the UK “continues to advocate a cautious approach to EU-Belarus relations”, but that the Council’s decision “is the best outcome given differing opinions amongst Member States” since “failure to come to a consensus view would have seen the restrictive measures against Belarus expire” on 29 February.

The Minster said that “too little time has passed to judge Belarus’ long-term commitment to open and democratic governance”. The Committee left it to others “to judge how much constitutes ‘too little time’, given that President Lukashenko has now been in office since July 1994”.

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About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC is a senior barrister (Queen’s Counsel) at Brick Court Chambers with a wide-ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. The legal directories say she is the...

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