EU to ease sanctions

BRUSSELS: The European Union will suspend its sanctions on Belarus for four months from Saturday, including those on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, making good on its promise to reward a perceived opening up to Europe, EU diplomats said. Lukashenko’s pardoning of jailed political prisoners and a perceived lack of repression following the re-election this month of a man whom the United States once said runs Europe’s last ‘dictatorship’, had influenced the EU’s approach, diplomats said. The decision took into account ‘the situation of the former political prisoners, the conduct of presidential elections and the situation of press freedoms, the freedom of association’, said one diplomat involved in the discussions.