The European Union is complaining to Belarus about what it calls an upsurge in death sentences over the past months.

The 28-nation EU also joined the United Nations in criticizing Belarus for reneging on its international commitments, including a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The EU said Belarus courts had already passed three death sentences so far this year.

The statement said the EU nations "expect Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step toward its abolition."

Belarus is not part of the EU.