EU freezes Belarus leader's assets and funds in protest over his 'fradulent' re-election

The EU said ambassadors from the 25-nation bloc agreed to expand sanctions imposed in April, which put a visa ban on Lukashenko and 30 other senior officials in response to the election which was condemned as fraudulent by the opposition and Western governments.

It was not clear what assets or funds, if any, Lukashenko or the others on the list have in other European nations.

The move does not affect humanitarian aid, including EU funding for education scholarships given to Belarus.

The EU said the people on its sanctions lists "are responsible for the violations of international electoral standards and the crackdown on civil society and the democratic opposition."

Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich was freed from jail last week after serving a 15-day sentence for taking part in an unsanctioned rally, the AP reports.

Milinkevich, who ran unsuccessfully against the authoritarian Lukashenko in the March election, has been a unifying figure for an opposition that incorporates widely diverse forces ranging from democrats to Communists.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team