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EU reaches technical deal on Belarus economic sanctions, diplomats say

·1 min read

BRUSSELS/VIENNA, June 18 (Reuters) - The European Union reached on Friday a technical agreement on economic sanctions on Belarus after Austria lifted its objections, including a ban on new loans to Belarus, two diplomats told Reuters.

The agreement still needs political approval but experts tasked with drawing up sanctions have agreed on an EU ban of exports to Belarus of any communications equipment that could be used for spying and a tigher arms embargo.

They also agreed restrictions on EU purchases from Belarus of tobacco products, as well as oil and oil-related products, and a ban on importing potash, a major Belarusian export. (Reporting by Robin Emmott and Francois Murphy)