Belarus Denounces 'destructive' New Western Sanctions
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Tue 22nd June 2021 | 06:30 PM
Moscow, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jun, 2021 ) :Belarus on Tuesday denounced coordinated sanctions against the ex-Soviet country by the EU, US, Britain and Canada, imposed after the forced landing of a Ryanair flight to arrest a regime critic.
The sanctions follow global outrage over the forced landing of a passenger flight in Minsk where authorities detained opposition activist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend who were travelling on board.
They were the latest in a series of penalties against President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for nearly three decades and has clamped down on the opposition after mass protests erupted following disputed presidential elections last year.
"We have repeatedly stated that sanctions negatively affect the interests of citizens, they are counterproductive and vicious," the Belarusian foreign ministry said in a statement.
"But deliberate, destructive actions against the population are being continued in order to 'drain the regime financially' so to speak." The ministry described the sanctions as "hostile actions" and said Western countries were using "pressure on a sovereign state".
"Against this backdrop, the statement of the leadership of the European Union looks like an outright mockery, a mockery of logic and common sense," the ministry said.
The European Union and the United States both targeted dozens of individuals and entities over a brutal crackdown on the opposition after Lukashenko claimed a landslide re-election for a sixth term last August.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg also backed broad-ranging sanctions targeting major revenue sources for the Belarusian regime: potash fertiliser exports, the tobacco industry, petroleum and petrochemical products.
She was forced into exile to neighbouring EU member Lithuania several days after the protests started.