According to a February 15, 2016 announcement, the Council of the European Union has decided to permanently end certain sanctions against Belarus. The EU will lift measures that froze the assets of individuals and entities connected to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. An arms embargo and sanctions on persons closely linked to the disappearance of Lukashenko’s political opponents remain in effect. Although the United States temporarily eased sanctions against Belarus beginning in October 2015, it remains to be seen whether or not it will follow the EU and permanently suspend its own sanctions program. Icy relations between Belarus and the EU and US have been warming slowly due to positive steps taken by Lukashenko domestically, as well as his support for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. Read more here.