The diplomatic relations between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union have been established in August 1992. During their development, they were characterized by both periods of activation and cooling.
In March 1995 a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Belarus and the EU was signed in Brussels.
Subsequently, the European Union unilaterally suspended the ratification of the PCA on political grounds and introduced a set of restrictive measures against the Republic of Belarus, including limitations on high- and top-level contacts, practical cooperation in various fields, as well as visa restrictions against several Belarusian public officials.
In 2008-2010 Belarus and the EU engaged in active dialogue on ways of normalizing relations. As a result, the EU partly suspended its earlier restrictions. A Delegation of the European Communities was opened in Minsk (later becoming an EU Delegation in December 2009). In 2009 Belarus joined the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative.
Later in 2011, based on its criticism of the conduct and results of the 2010 presidential elections in Belarus, the European Union reinstated and broadened its visa restrictions. A set of additional limitations on financial operations with some Belarusian companies, as well as on exports to Belarus of certain specialized goods and services, was introduced.
In late 2012 Belarus resumed high-level contacts with EU institutions and the EU Member States. In the course of 2013-2015 the European Union partly decreased the lists of restrictions against Belarusian public officials and companies.
In 2016 a set of significant positive developments occurred in Belarus-EU relations. The EU lifted all sanctions against Belarusian companies and minimized restrictions against public officials. In 2017-2018 sport rifles and munitions were excluded from the EU arms embargo still in force against Belarus
In 2016 the Belarus-EU Coordination Group was established as a new format for a more structured and comprehensive dialogue across all fields of bilateral cooperation. The meetings are regularly attended by representatives of various Belarusian line ministries, European Commission and European External Action Service.
Since 2016 to 2019, as part of the intensification of political contacts between Belarus and the EU, a number of European commissioners visited our country.
On January 8, 2020, in Brussels, with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Vladimir Makei, the signing ceremony of the agreements on simplification of visa procedures and on readmission with the EU took place. The ratification of the documents was completed by the parties in spring 2020, and they entered into force on July 1, 2020.
At the same time, the European Union did not recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, 2020. Brussels has introduced new restrictions on contacts with our country, including sanctions, which are illegal under international law, against certain individuals and business entities. The European Commission has suspended funding for a number of technical assistance programs. The work of the Belarus-EU Coordination Group has been suspended. The level of political dialogue has been downgraded. Belarus, as a retaliatory measure, introduced a ban on entry to certain categories of European politicians.
In 2021-2022, the EU also introduced sectoral restrictive measures that do not comply with international law and are designed to cause economic damage to our country. Belarus was forced to take retaliatory measures, including in the trade sphere. The readmission agreement with the EU has been suspended.
The Republic of Belarus continues to advocate the development of constructive relations with all international partners, including the European Union. Calls on the EU to abandon confrontational, aggressive, militant policies directed against the interests of the people of Belarus.