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Russia has unreservedly expressed its solidarity and steadfast support for Belarus after the United States and the European Union imposed the fourth package of sanctions against its political leaders, members of the government and a number of companies.
On June 23, in an official statement published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, for example, he called the European Union’s decision “illegitimate and illegal European sanctions against Belarus” and the EU devalues ââits own claims to the role of tutor. of international law.
According to the statement, âthe Russian Federation is committed to allied relations with fraternal Belarus. We will continue to coordinate our efforts in the interest of strengthening state sovereignty and ensuring the national security of our countries on the basis of existing international legal agreements, and strengthening our collective stability in the face of external pressures and political containment. “
In the meantime, Belarus and the world are awaiting the results of the international investigation into the emergency landing of the airline Ryanair in Minsk.
The European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States presented a joint statement on the imposition of sanctions against Belarus, issued on EU website June 21st.
“Today we took coordinated sanctions action in response to the forced landing of a Ryanair commercial flight on May 23 between two EU member states and the politically motivated arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega, “the statement read.
The parties urged Belarus to cooperate fully with the international investigations into the events of May 23 and to âenter into a comprehensive and genuine political dialogue between the authorities and representatives of the democratic opposition and civil society, facilitated by the OSCE â.
The EU has extended its sanctions against Belarus, adding 78 people and 8 companies to the list. The United States sanctioned 16 people and six companies, while the United Kingdom sanctioned 11 people and two organizations. Canada has imposed sanctions on 17 Belarusian people and five companies.
The European Council notes on its website that EU sanctions now apply to 166 individuals and 15 entities in total. âNamed persons are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and businesses are prohibited from making funds available to named persons. In addition, natural persons are subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or passing through EU territories.
The imposed sanctions package has sparked debate and discussion among Russian politicians and experts as well as foreign academics. It sparked unprecedented coverage in local and foreign media.
Well-known Russian media Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that the EU Foreign Affairs Council held a session in Luxembourg, attended by Belarusian opposition figurehead Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. After his speech, ministers from 15 EU countries asked him interactive questions about sanctions, the internal situation in Belarus and whether the Belarus crisis could be resolved peacefully through joint means of putting pressure on the government.
Moreover, and as has been the situation, the Belarusian government has shown no willingness to ease the tensions in its relations with the EU. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Belarus had ended the work of the United Nations human rights adviser in Minsk. Relations between Belarus and the EU have reached their highest point of escalation in modern history.
Experts are still studying the possible impact on Belarus’ economy and its relationship with Russia. First, everyone on the sanctions list banned from entering the European Union and all their potential assets are frozen in the EU.
On the economic sectors, the restrictions will affect the potassium, petroleum and financial spheres of Belarus. According to various press reports, the sanctions could affect up to 4% of Belarusian exports, which last year amounted to $ 29 billion.
For example, Belaruskali, one of the largest producers of fertilizers in the world, could be one of the companies targeted by the sanctions. It transports its products through the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania, the newspaper reports. âBefore the pandemic, Belaruskali’s income was around $ 2 billion. About 90% of its products go through Klaipeda.
It will be practically impossible to replace this road with the help of Russian ports and railways, âexplained Belarusian political scientist Dmitri Bolkunets, reported by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, adding that it is necessary to await the final decision on the sanctions regime.
So far, around 20-30% of Belarusian exports are under threat of sanctions, the expert suggested. Before the pandemic, Belarus’ exports reached $ 32 billion, so that due to EU sanctions, the Lukashenko government risks losing up to $ 10 billion.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis noted that Russia would be significantly affected by EU sanctions against Lukashenko’s government. Only Russia can refinance Belarus’ losses, so by introducing sanctions against Minsk, the EU is putting some of the pressure on Russia, which has the ability to influence Belarus, the minister explained.
New Western sanctions against Belarus will not produce the desired effect, while reciprocal measures will negatively affect the interests of Western citizens and businesses, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
âSanctions and restrictions will not produce the effect desired by those who ordered them. The reciprocal measures that the EU forces us to take can also negatively affect the areas of our cooperation and, ultimately, the interests of Western citizens and businesses who have taken hostile measures towards our country, âthe Ministry of Affairs said. foreigners in his commentary on the sanctions, imposed earlier by the US, EU, UK and Canada.
The Foreign Ministry noted that “such an approach leaves neither time nor space to seek windows of opportunity, in order to find a way out of the situation that exists in relations between Belarus and the EU , the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada “.
The Russian and Belarusian parliaments have together against external forces. During its 60th joint parliamentary session held in June, the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko, in remarks, appreciated the support provided by Russia in the context of attempts by Western states and the European Union to destabilize the situation in Belarus.
According to the 2019 census, Belarus has 9.5 million inhabitants. Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe and a former Soviet republic. The leadership has often been described as “Europe’s last dictatorship” by some media, politicians and writers due to its authoritarian government. Alexander Lukashenko has ruled the country since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.