Belarus accuses the European Union of trying to stifle its economy with sanctions

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“The goal of this entire policy is to strangle Belarus economically, and to make life as difficult as possible for Belarusians,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

The text describes the decision of the Council of the European Union to impose the first sanctions on Belarus in connection with the migration crisis at its borders, as “the height of absurdity”, which was coordinated with the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The sanctions, presumably Brussels’ response to the crisis that began on November 8 with the concentration of several thousand migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border, affect 17 people and 11 entities, including Belarusian airline Belavia.

The official statement of the Belarusian diplomacy notes that “all this weight of responsibility rests with Belarus, while the real causes of the global migration crisis have been shamefully ignored.”

Minsk considers the sanctions “barbaric” and “inhuman”, reaching tens of thousands of Belarusians by listing companies unrelated to the migration crisis.

In addition to emphasizing that they will overcome the new challenge unleashed by the West, the Minsk authorities ensure the adoption of “strict and asymmetric, but sufficient measures” in response.

The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada today announced new economic sanctions against the Belarusian regime, accused of “repeated human rights violations” and of facilitating illegal immigration to Europe.

“We remain committed to supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and unite to impose costs on the regime – and its supporters – for its efforts to silence the voices of independent civil society, the media, and all Belarusians who seek to tell the truth about what is happening in the country,” the allies said in a joint statement.

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The document strongly criticizes the actions of the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and promises tough economic sanctions, accusing him of using immigrants as political weapons against the West.

“We once again demand the Lukashenko regime to put an immediate and complete end to the regulation of irregular migration across its borders with the European Union,” the allies emphasized.

In a statement issued by the US State Department, the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, noted that this was the third time that allies had acted in concert against Belarus, accusing Lukashenko of “disrespect for human rights”.

Blinken explained that the tightening of sanctions shows “our unwavering determination to act in the face of a brutal regime that increasingly oppresses Belarusians, undermines peace and security in Europe, and continues to exploit people who only seek to live in freedom.”

The US Treasury announced that it is targeting 20 individuals and 12 organizations close to Lukashenko’s regime, for “facilitating the entry of … immigrants into the European Union” and “participating in acts of repression against human rights and democracy.”

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