Thursday, August 9, 2012

EU calls urgent talks on row between Belarus and Sweden

The EU is to hold urgent talks on Friday over the diplomatic row between Belarus and Sweden, which followed a political stunt involving teddy bears.

Belarus effectively expelled Swedish diplomats after a Swedish PR firm parachuted toy bears bearing pro-democracy messages over its territory.

Sweden responded by taking action against diplomats from Belarus, one of Europe's most authoritarian states.

It is thought that new EU sanctions may be discussed in Brussels on Friday.

The ex-Soviet republic has been subject to EU sanctions since 1996, two years after Alexander Lukashenko became president.

More than 200 Belarusian individuals are currently barred from entering the EU and their assets have been frozen by EU banks.

Twenty-nine companies linked with three businessmen closely associated with Mr Lukashenko are also subject to sanctions. Read More