EU envoys mull measures against Belarus

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Aug. 10, 2012, 3:17 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a parade marking Independence Day in Minsk, Belarus, in this Tuesday, July 3, 2012 file photo.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

 BRUSSELS — European Union envoys are to consider retaliating against Belarus after the government there ordered Sweden to close its embassy by the end of the month.

The measures to be discussed Friday could include a recommendation to close all EU embassies in Minsk, although that decision would be left to individual governments.

Earlier this month, President Alexander Lukashenko's regime in Belarus effectively expelled Sweden's ambassador after he met with opposition activists.

Stockholm in turn barred entry to the incoming Belarusian ambassador and ordered out two other Belarusian diplomats.

The EU has already targeted scores of businesses and individuals in Belarus with travel bans and asset freezes over alleged links to human rights abuses.

The bloc temporarily withdrew its ambassadors earlier this year over a similar dispute involving Belarus' treatment of diplomats.

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