Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against EU

Belarusian officials announced on Friday that they were imposing sanctions on the European Union and threatened to review the country's diplomatic relations, with dozens of Belarusian officials accused of rigging the presidential election. In response to EU sanctions on allegations of cracking down on peaceful protesters.

Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against EU

The European Union decided early Friday to impose sanctions on about 40 officials, excluding President Alexander Lukashenko, who was re-elected in August in a vote rigged by the opposition.

In response, Belarus's Foreign Ministry issued a statement announcing sanctions against European officials. "As of today, Belarus has imposed a list of retaliatory sanctions," the statement said. The ministry did not disclose the list and did not provide details on how many personnel were involved.

If the EU moves further "to raise sanctions", it could have "more serious consequences", such as Belarus withdrawing from joint programs and projects or reforming its diplomatic relations with the bloc.

"Belarus is always against confrontation in words and deeds. We are for dialogue and understanding. But as an independent state, we are also committed, although naturally to our national defense. We will regret not responding to friendly measures. Interests, "the statement read.

The official results of the August 9 presidential election were handed over’ to Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 26 years with an iron fist, who could win 80 percent of the vote. Her main challenger, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, received only 10%. He and his supporters refused to justify the results, and large-scale protests shook Belarus, with thousands taking to the streets demanding Lukashenko's resignation.

Immediately of the votes. Authorities detained the brutal reaction to protests of thousands of people after the police and stems, rubber bullets and injured many good grenades, which faced international outrage.

The government has reduced the violence, but has kept up pressure to detain hundreds of protesters and prosecute high-profile activists. Many members of the Coordinating Council, who were urged’ by the opposition to transfer power, were forced to leave the country.

Tsikhanouskaya is currently in exile in Lithuania. His top colleague, Maria Kolesnikova, is in prison for endangering state security and could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

"The West does not benefit much from the current crisis in Belarus," Artyom Shraybman, a political analyst based in Minsk, told the Associated Press. "Lukashenko does not care about the West's views on his actions."

Shraybman described the EU sanctions as "minor" and "symbolic". "EU countries adopt these sanctions only for themselves, to show that they are not abusive and that it is a matter of human rights for them," he said.


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