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Western sanctions ‘counterproductive and unacceptable’ — Belarus Foreign Ministry

July 10, 2014, 15:59 UTC+3 MINSK

“Our position has not changed. We insist on a full lifting of the sanctions,” he says

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MINSK, July 10./ITAR-TASS/. Sanctions are unacceptable as a foreign policy tool, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Mironchik told journalists on Thursday after the European Union added 11 new names to the list of those targeted with asset freezes and travel bans over the Ukraine crisis.

“Belarus’ attitude towards sanctions as unilateral coercive measures is quite clear... it is counterproductive and unacceptable to use sanctions as a foreign policy tool,” he said, noting that his country was also hit by such measures and calling for their removal.

“Our position has not changed. We insist on a full lifting of the sanctions,” Mironchik said, making no comment on the European Council amending its Belarus sanctions list by removing eight names and imposing sanctions on one individual.

“We openly express our position to the European leadership,” he said, adding that the issue had been raised during a visit to Brussels by Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Irina Kupchina.

The European Union in Brussels on Wednesday blacklisted 11 more Russian and Ukrainian nationals, banning them from entry to EU member states and freezing their European assets, an unnamed source told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

Its extended list, which already contained 61 people, comes into force on Thursday. Names will be announced when they are published in the official European Union journal.

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