EU ready to impose sanctions against Belarus 12:03, 09/11/2005
The European Union is ready to impose sanctions against Belarus if the country`s 2006 elections fail to meet international norms, an EU commissioner said Wednesday. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighborhood Policy, told a Moscow news conference that the EU could expand the range of measures against Belarus to include freezing its foreign bank accounts.
She said Europe was extremely concerned about Belarus` self-imposed isolation and expressed hope that Russia could convince the country`s leadership to adhere to international obligations, although Russia and the EU have had different approaches toward relations with Belarus.
The EU commissioner emphasized the importance of stability in Europe and urged Russia to cooperate on the issue.
Ferrero-Waldner, who is currently visiting Russia with EU High Commissioner for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, will discuss broadening EU-Russia cooperation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other officials Wednesday.