Belarus expands sanctions against EU

The Belarusian authorities decided to include representatives of the leadership of the European Union and a number of European countries in the sanctions lists and to suspend the dialogue with the EU on human rights, said the Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in an interview with Belarus-1 TV channel.

"If we are affected, if any sanctions are imposed against us, we will, of course, be forced to adequately respond. You know that the European Union has imposed additional sanctions against a dozen and a half people. We will also expand our sanctions personal lists," the minister said.

In addition, according to Makei, Minsk is suspending the dialogue with the European Union on human rights issues, as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have decided to freeze their cooperation with the republic.

"We suspend this dialogue until the European Union decides to change the policy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank," the Foreign Minister said.

He also stressed that the main course of Belarus is focused on Russia, but the country is not going to give up other areas of foreign policy.

"We have always said that Russia is our main strategic ally and main partner, and whether we like it or not, the main vector, the emphasis of our cooperation will be in this direction," Makei added.

The EU has already imposed two sets of sanctions on Belarusian officials. The blacklist includes 55 representatives of the country's leadership, including Alexander Lukashenko and the security forces. Ukraine has joined these restrictive measures.

  Belarus, Makei, Lukashenko, EU