German foundation banned in Belarus

8th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

A German political foundation has been banned from Belarus because of Germany's "clear radicalisation" against Minsk, the Belarus foreign ministry said Thursday.

The Friedrich Ebert foundation, which has ties to Germany's Social Democratic Party, has had a Belarus office since 1997.

"We made this decision because the (foundation's) work doesn't equate to completely constructive cooperation with Belarussian state bodies," foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said.

He added that the decision was influenced by a "clear radicalisation" from Germany against Belarus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September slammed as "completely unacceptable" Belarus's treatment of opposition members.

In May, Berlin denounced a five-year prison sentence handed down against Andrei Sannikov, the opposition party's main candidate in presidential elections, who was arrested while attending a demonstration.

President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected in December 2010 with almost 80 percent of the votes in an election that European observers said was riddled with fraud.

© 2011 AFP

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