MOSCOW, October 13 /TASS/. The European Union is trying to play its geopolitical card against Russia by easing sanctions on Belarus in a bid to win its support and disposition, a Russian State Duma deputy said on Tuesday.
"They (the European Union) hope that they will certainly succeed in pitting Minsk against Russia. I believe that they have come to terms with the fact that Lukashenko will remain the president of Belarus for a long time. That is why it is necessary to play him off against Moscow and weaken Russia’s influence in this way," Alexey Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for International Affairs, said in an interview with the Vesti FM radio station.
"It is realism with an aim to play a geopolitical card against Moscow," he added.
According to Pushkov, the European Union has concluded it would be stupid to ignore a leader who confidently rules his country in conditions when Lukashenko wins one election after another and when there is no serious opposition in Belarus.
The EU Council is to make a decision on sanctions relief for Belarus before the end of September.
According to existing information, the lifting of restrictive measures will only apply to the blacklist of legal entities and individuals while the arms embargo will remain in force.