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Belarus Dismisses U.S. Travel Ban On Officials

Hundreds were jailed after opposition protesters were attacked by police on March 25 (RFE/RL) May 16, 2006 -- The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has dismissed a U.S. travel ban on President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and top government officials imposed for alleged electoral fraud in Belarus's March 19 presidential election.

Ministry spokesman Andrey Papou told Reuters the U.S. travel ban, and similar measures imposed last month by the European Union, "will produce nothing constructive" in bilateral relations and "will have no effect."

The United States and the European Union have condemned the March election -- in which, according to official figures, Lukashenka won 83 percent of the vote -- as neither free nor fair.

Hundreds of opposition supporters were arrested and imprisoned for up to 15 days during the unprecedented protests sparked by the election outcome.


Election Day In Images

Election Day In Images

Click on the image to view a photo gallery of election-day events in Belarus.

THE BELARUS ELECTION: To view a complete archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the March 19 presidential election, click here.

To read and listen to RFE/RL's Belarus Service's coverage of the vote in Belarusian, click here.