EU sanctions Belarus over election, gets in-kind response

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has imposed sanctions Friday on 40 officials suspected of election misconduct and a brutal security crackdown on protesters in Belarus, which quickly retaliated by announcing its own sanctions against the EU.

Russia, in turn, said it would follow Belarus’ lead on sanctioning officials in the 27-nation European bloc, while the U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had followed the EU and imposed sanctions on eight Belarus officials.

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The individuals subject to the sanctions that EU leaders endorsed early Friday do not include Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose disputed reelection to a sixth term has triggered nearly eight weeks of protests and a crackdown on protesters, opposition activists and journalists.