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U.S. ready to support EU sanctions against Belarus

RIA Novosti

04:15 21/01/2011 WASHINGTON, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - The United States supports an EU resolution calling for sanctions against the Belarusian leadership and is ready to take similar measures, a State Department spokesman said on Friday.

"This is something that we are consulting closely with our counterparts in the European Union," Philip Crowley said. "We are very much aware and supportive of steps that the EU is taking, and we are also, in light of our concerns, prepared to take additional steps to restore sanctions that have previously been lifted."

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution calling for immediate sanctions against the leaders of Belarus over the response to the opposition protests that followed the December 19 presidential election.

The resolution calls on the European Council to impose a ban on visas and freeze any EU bank accounts of senior government officials and members of the judiciary and security agencies responsible for rigging the elections and persecuting the opposition.

The foreign ministers of the EU's 27 member states are expected to reach a final decision on any sanctions against Belarus when they hold their first meeting of the year on January 31 in Brussels.

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