Monday, May 15, 2006

European Union Tries To Freeze Lukashenka Regime Assets Before Those Assets Can Be Shifted To Swiss Bank Accounts

"The European Union is set to freeze the assets of Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, and more than 30 senior officials in a response to Belarus's flawed presidential elections in March and the subsequent jailing of Alexander Milinkevich, the main opposition candidate.

The move, likely to be made in coming days, follows a decision by EU ministers in April to impose a visa ban on Mr Lukashenko and 30 officials.

Diplomats from several member states said the EU's 25 governments had agreed that the officials named in the visa ban would also be subject to an asset freeze, as would a smaller number of people affected by a previous visa ban.

The list includes members of the presidential staff, the interior minister, the country's highest ranking prosecutor, the head of Belarus's secret service, the minister of information, and the president of the parliament....

The decision to impose the asset freeze was more complicated than the visa ban and diplomats said it had been intended to be put into place for some time. But the bloc had tried to handle the issue discreetly, a diplomat said.

"If you announce an asset freeze for weeks before you can install it, the money will disappear to countries like Switzerland before you can get hold of it." ...

Fidelius Schmid and Daniel Dombey "EU to freeze assets of Belarus leader after flawed poll" Financial Times May 15, 2006

Regional Office of the Central Bank of Belarus in Zoblin, Belarus.

Photo credit: (c) 2006 Sergver and The Weather Underground, Inc. With thanks. wximage/viewsingleimage....


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