Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko wipes his face at a news conference during a presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, in this October 11, 2015. Vasily Fedosenko
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The European Union ended five years of sanctions against Belarus and its authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko Monday, citing improving human rights as the bloc seeks more friends in Russia's back yard.Announcing its decision at a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, the European Union said it will maintain its arms embargo on Belarus and will keep sanctions for another year on four men suspected of being behind the disappearances of two opposition politicians, a businessman and a journalist.The sanctions – on 170 people, including Lukashenko, and three companies – were already lifted for four months at the end of October.
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