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Belarus Criticizes Travel Ban By U.S.

28 September 2004 -- Belarus has denounced a decision by the European Union and the United States to prohibit the entry of four senior Belarus officials. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said it will take appropriate retaliatory measures.

Yesterday, the EU and United States imposed a travel ban on the Belarusian interior minister, prosecutor-general, sports minister, and the head of special forces. All but the interior minister were named in a report from the Council of Europe as having alleged involvement in the disappearance of political opponents of Belarusian President Alyaksander Lukashenka.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said today that the EU and United States are intensifying pressure on Belarus ahead of a national referendum that would enable Lukashenka to run for a third term as president.