Belarus cancels participation in EU initiative

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Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Minsk on Monday and informed of the suspension…reports Asian Lite News.

Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union (EU) due to the bloc’s recently imposed sanctions against the country.

Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Minsk on Monday and informed of the suspension.

Belarus considers it “unacceptable” to use sanctions as an instrument of pressure on an independent state, and is forced to take concrete steps as a response to the actions that threaten the country’s national security and are detrimental to the economy and citizens, the statement added.

EU representatives involved in the introduction of restrictive measures against Belarus will be prohibited from entering the country, the ministry said, and more restrictions are being planned.

Partially in response to the diversion of a Ryanair passenger flight to Minsk on May 23, the EU announced new sanctions against 78 individuals and eight entities in Belarus on June 21.

Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his partner Sofia Sapega were on board a commercial flight between Greece and Lithuania that was rerouted on May 23 to Minsk shortly before it reached Vilnius due to an alleged bomb threat.

No bomb was found, but both were detained.

The Eastern Partnership is a joint initiative involving the EU, its member states and six Eastern Partner countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. (Xinhua/IANS)

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