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Russia objects to Western sanctions against Belarus

June 21, 2012, 1:21 UTC+3

"We are against the use of such tool in politics for reasons of principle,” Lavrov said

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MOSCOW, June 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia objects to Western sanctions against Belarus, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“As for unilateral economic sanctions as a means of coercion, we are against the use of such tool in politics for reasons of principle, especially when if concerns a state and people that are close to us,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russia and Belarusian mass media.

“Such demarches have already been taken -- a joint statement by the presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on the inadmissibility of such methods in interstate relations and a joint statement of the governments of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan that contains identical assessments and positions,” he said.

“I think sanctions never produce the results sought by those who advocate them. I mean unilateral sanctions because sanctions imposed collectively in the U.N. Security Council are provided by in the U.N. Charter and a part of international law. This tool needs to be used very carefully. Unilateral sanctions as a rule have only one result: questions that some want to solve with the help of pressure by way of sanctions are simply pushed deeper,” the minister said.

“In principle, isolating a partner rather than engaging with him in a dialogue is always counterproductive. We prefer in all difficult situations to engage in dialogue, no matter how difficult the questions that arise in relations between states may be,” Lavrov said.

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