December 11, 21:45
MINSK, February 28 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus will respond to the decision of the EU Council to tighten sanctions.
“The decision of the EU Council shows that the European Union sticks to the policy of open pressure. We have repeatedly explained on various levels that such policy is unpromising. In turn, Belarus will bar EU officials, who have contributed to the restrictive measures,” Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said.
The Belarusian permanent representative to the European Union and the Belarusian ambassador to Poland have been summoned to Minsk for consultations concerning the new EU sanctions on Belarus, he said.
The head of the EU delegation to Belarus and the Polish ambassador to Belarus “were offered to visit their home countries for consultations and for conveying to their administrations the firm position of Belarus on the impermissibility of pressure and sanctions,” Savinykh said. “If pressure on the Republic of Belarus continues, other measures will be taken to protect our interests,” he said.
The European Union Council has given an official approval to new sanctions on Belarus. It said that the sanctions applying to persons responsible for serious violations of human rights or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition were tightened against the backdrop of the continuing exacerbation of the situation in Belarus and 21 such persons were added to the list of those who were prohibited to enter the EU and whose assets would be frozen.
There are more than 200 names of high-ranking Belarusian officials, among them President Alexander Lukashenko, on the list at present. Assets of three companies related to the Lukashenko regime remain frozen, and sanctions on Belarusian arms exporters remain valid, the Council said.