MINSK, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said Monday that the country is ready to take an adequate response to the sanctions announced by the European Union.
"Tension with the European Union -- is not our choice," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "However, the decision of the EU Council makes the Republic of Belarus to go to proportionate and appropriate measures which will aim at strengthening the sovereignty of Belarus, the preservation of stability and consolidation of the Belarusian society."
"EU Council's decision is based on genuine cover-up of the action of aggressive acts and violence by demonstrators, expressed in the attempt to seize government buildings and parliament of the Republic of Belarus, on Dec. 19, 2010 after the presidential election," said the statement.
The statement urged the EU to "get away from the logic of confrontation and hasty attempts to destroy constructive relationships, which has no reasonable alternative."
At a Monday meeting held in Brussels, the Council of EU foreign ministers decided to ban the entry into the European Union 158 officials from Belarus, including the incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko, his two sons, as well as Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin, KGB head Vadim Zaitsev, and other members of the leadership.
The EU said the sanctions were taken in response to violations of fundamental rights and the persecution of the opposition and civil society activists in Belarus.