A day after the European Union and the United States slammed fresh sanctions on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his aides, Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly criticized the move and described it as politically motivated, counterproductive and destabilizing.
The sanctions were imposed to punish Lukashenko over his response to last year's brutal clampdown on opposition leaders following December's disputed elections. In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Belarus, a sovereign European state, must be involved in international cooperation processes.
"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. On the contrary, the establishment and development of mutually beneficial and equal ties with Belarus would have boosted market reforms and further growth of democratic institutions in the country," the spokesman added.
Responding at the EU's decision, Belarussian Foreign Ministry said that the decision was aimed at covering up the aggressive and violent acts of demonstrators and advised the 27-nation bloc to stop itself from the logic of confrontation and hasty attempts to destroy constructive relationships.