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EU Considers Wider Sanctions On Belarusian Officials --> Brussels is considering more travel bans on officials of President Lukashenka's regime (epa) March 23, 2006 -- The European Union said today it is consulting with neighboring countries before deciding on sanctions on Belarusian officials following the March 19 presidential election.

EU foreign ministers have said they are likely to impose sanctions on top political leaders in Belarus after the election that gave President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a third term in office. The EU says the vote was fraudulent.

The sanctions are likely to include a wider travel ban on Belarusian officials.

Austrian State Secretary for European Affairs Hans Winkler told the European Parliament today that the 25-member bloc would consult all candidates for EU membership as well as neighboring nations, including Russia.

The EU Watches Minsk

Belarusian students studying at an EU-funded university in Vilnius, Lithuania

WATCHING AND WAITING: The European Union repeatedly urged Minsk to conduct a fair and democratic presidential election on March 19. The EU external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said in a statement today that the recent arrests of Belarusian opposition figures are "unacceptable" campaign violations. Ferrero-Waldner repeated an EU threat of "targeted sanctions" against top Belarusian officials if the elections are not free and fair. However, the EU will withhold final judgment until March 20, when the bloc's foreign ministers meet in Brussels....(more)

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Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Read brief biographies of the four candidates in the March 19 election.

Click on the image to view RFE/RL's coverage of the election campaign in Belarusian and to listen to RFE/RL's Belarusian Service.