Russia supports Belarus on EU sanctions

MOSCOW, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Ministry Tuesday condemned EU sanctions against Belarus, saying the move were politically motivated and are counterproductive.

Spokesman for the ministry Alexander Lukashevich said Russia supports Belarus' broad involvement in international cooperation processes as a sovereign European state.

"In this strategic context, the application of politically motivated unilateral sanctions against Belarus, designed to disrupt socio-economic stability in the country, will be counterproductive," Lukashevich said.

The EU on Monday imposed travel restrictions and an asset freeze on some senior Belorussian officials, saying these sanctions were taken in response to violations of fundamental rights and the persecution of the opposition and civil society activists in Belarus.

But the Belorussian Foreign Ministry said the EU's decision is based on "genuine cover-up of aggressive acts and violence by demonstrators". It said the EU should refrain from the "logic of confrontation and hasty attempts to destroy constructive relationships."

In a related development, the United States on Monday slapped new sanctions on Belarus, in what it said is response to its " brutal crackdown" in the wake of the presidential election in December.

In December 2010, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko was elected for a fourth term. Later, several protesters were detained during the opposition rallies in downtown Minsk.


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