The text of the resolution on Belarus of the EU Council of Ministers, which met at the foreign ministerial level, was circulated in Brussels on Tuesday evening. It says that the Council considered the situation in Belarus following its statement on this issue of October 21st, which once again expressed concern over the state of affairs and demanded that the Belarussian authorities should not terminate the activity of the OSCE observation and consulting group. The discussion also took into account the recent closure of the mission in Minsk.
The resolution reads that the Council takes into consideration that most member states, especially the majority of the Schengen zone countries, will take the necessary national measures to prevent the Belarussian president, the head of the presidential administration, the prime minister, four ministers as well as the chairman of the state security committee from entering their territories.
The source at the Council of the European Union told RIA Novosti that the point at issue were defence, interior, foreign affairs and justice ministers of Belarus.
Thus, quite a long draft of the resolution proposed by the Danish chairman of the European Union was not approved. It stipulated a ban on the EU entry visas for Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko and for another 50 high-ranking representatives of the Belarussian leadership in connection with the state of democracy in the country and termination of the work of the OSCE observation group there. The draft called on third countries to take similar measures.
Portugal, which is a member of the European Union and OSCE chairman, came out against such a decision. According to the source at the closest entourage of the EU Council's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, its objections were not those of principle and concerned the procedure only. Portugal insisted that this question be considered after the OSCE conference in Porto.
As a result, according to the official representative of the Danish EU chairman, 14 out of the 15 EU countries agreed to act within the framework of national mechanisms for border control permitted by the Schengen rules and will impose corresponding bans in respect to the above-mentioned eight Belarussian leaders. The exclusion will be made for their participation in the OSCE arrangements in Vienna or other EU cities. In such cases they will be given national visas only, not the Schengen one.