Eight non-EU countries joined the sanctions on the Belarusian regime.
Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, welcomes this decision, RIA Novosti reports.
“The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it,” the EU High Representative said in a statement.
The counties that joined the sanctions are Albania, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro.
All of these counties, except for Norway, announced their decision to join the EU sanctions against Belarus in June 2012.
On October 15, the EU Council extended sanctions on Belarus until October 31, 2013 as “not all political prisoners have been released and no released prisoner has been rehabilitated, and against the background of the lack of improvement as regards the respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles”.
The Council reiterates its firm commitment to strengthening the EU's engagement with the Belarusian people and civil society. The Council expresses its continued full support for and the intention to further elaborate the “European Dialogue on Modernisation”.
The EU visa and economic restrictions affect 243 Belarusian officials, including Alyaksandr Lukashenka.