In 2006, the European Union imposed restrictive measures, which included among other matters, a freeze on the funds of President Lukashenko and certain other officials of Belarus who are responsible for the violations of international electoral standards in the Presidential elections in Belarus on 19 March 2006 and the subsequent crackdown on civil society and democratic opposition.
The Lukashenko regime’s release of all remaining political prisoners in August 2015 and the holding of a peaceful presidential election on 11 October 2015 led the EU to agree on a softening of sanctions to encourage further cooperation from the Belarusian regime. This resulted in the suspension of a majority of asset freeze targets on 1 November 2015. These targets were subsequently delisted in February 2016. Four individuals remain listed and subject to restrictive measures. These individuals are associated with the unresolved disappearances of four political activists in 1999 and 2000.