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Belarus Sanctions Renewed

The European Union has extended its sanctions against individuals and companies linked to the Belarus government for another year, saying that Minsk had failed to improve its human rights record.

Sanctions are part of a policy the EU calls "critical engagement" with the government of President Alexander Lukashenko, an attempt to push it to implement reforms.

But a parliamentary election in September was widely criticized as being a sham and the Belarus government conducts widespread harassment of its critics, according to one EU official.

"The council again calls upon the Belarussian authorities to stop the harassment of civil society, the political opposition and the independent media," said a statement released Monday by the Council of the European Union.

(Reuters)

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