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EU Council Eases Diplomatic Contacts With Belarus

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey
Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey
The Council of the European Union has suspended the EU travel ban on Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimer Makey "in order to facilitate diplomatic contacts between the EU and Belarus."

In a statement, the council said Makey will remain on the list of persons subject to EU restrictive measures, but the visa ban will not be applied.

The EU banned Makey and several other Belarusian officials from entering its member-states in January 2011, saying they were responsible for police violence against opposition activists in Minsk in December 2010 after the country's presidential election.

The council said its decision does not reflect any policy change.

Belarusian Interior Ministry spokesman Andrey Savinykh called the council's statement "a constructive decision in the right direction."

With reporting by ITAR-TASS
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