The European Union placed sanctions Monday on Belarusian officials following the disappearance of three Belarusian opposition leaders and a journalist.
The European Union placed sanctions Monday on Belarusian officials following the disappearance of three Belarusian opposition leaders and one journalist. The measures were a response to Minsk’s failure to investigate the disappearances in 1999 and 2000 of former interior minister Yuri Zakharenko, former Prime Minister Viktor Gonchar, former electoral commission head Anatoly Krasovski and journalist Dimitri Zavadski. The EU said in a statement that it was placing EU travel bans on "those high officials who are considered primarily responsible for failing to initiate such an investigation and prosecution of the alleged crimes." Although not named in the statement, the officials are thought to be Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov, Prosecutor General Victor Sheyman, Sports Minister Yuri Sivakov and Special Forces Officer Colonel Pavlichenko. In a statement by the Dutch presidency, EU members said that the presence of these individuals at EU or other meetings was "inappropriate." The US has said it will also take measures against those concerned. (Euobserver.com)