Lukashenko has recently sought to improve his country's ties with western nations, but EU-imposed sanctions have remained pending the release of all political prisoners, including Kozulin. While it lifted the travel ban for six months, the EU maintained asset freezes on top Belarussian officials. The US imposed its own travel ban on Lukashenko [JURIST report] in May 2006. The US State Department severely criticized Belarus' human rights record [JURIST report] in March in its annual human rights country reports.
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