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EU Poised To Suspend Some Belarus Sanctions

BRUSSELS -- Brussels is set to suspend sanctions on close to 140 Belarusians, including President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, if there is no political crackdown during the October 11 presidential election.

The sanctions, which include asset freezes and visa bans, will be officially suspended at the end of October for four months, EU sources say.

At the same time, the EU will keep the sanctions, which have been renewed for 12 months every October since the clampdown following the 2010 presidential election, under review in case new human rights abuses occur.

The current sanctions list comprises 201 individuals and 18 companies.

An RFE/RL source said that some of the names and entities will remain under sanction. The arms embargo against Belarus will also stay in place.

The move by the EU comes after the regime in Minsk released eight political prisoners at the end of August. EU officials have also acknowledged Belarus's positive role in regulating the conflict in Ukraine.

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