President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (file photo) (epa)
May 18, 2006 -- The European Union announced today it is freezing the assets and funds held in EU countries by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and 35 other Belarusian officials.
The move is in response to alleged electoral fraud during Lukashenka's reelection in March and the continuing crackdown against opposition groups.
The EU said in a statement that ambassadors from the 25-nation bloc agreed to expand a visa ban imposed last month on Lukashenka and 30 other senior officials following the March 19 election.
Besides Lukashenka, officials on the asset freeze list included the head of the presidential administration, the ministers of education, information and justice, as well as the chairman of the lower house of parliament and the head of the KGB security service.
(AP, AFP, Reuters)