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Belarusian GDP may fall by 2.9% due to Western sanctions, PM says

According to Roman Golovchenko, Belarus is ready to stop purchasing Western goods and "shift particularly to Asian technologies, which have been developing at a breathtaking pace"

MINSK, June 6. /TASS/. Belarusian GDP may fall by 2.9% due to Western sanctions, the country’s Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said in an interview with the Belarus-1 TV channel.

"The damage from financial sanctions against our country’s economy is estimated at about 1.7% of GDP and trade sanctions will cause the GDP to decline by another 0.7%. The maximum damage from trade and financial sanctions may reach 2.9% of GDP," he pointed out.

According to the prime minister, Belarus is ready to stop purchasing Western goods and "shift particularly to Asian technologies, which have been developing at a breathtaking pace."

On May 23, a Vilnius-bound Ryanair flight that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing in the Belarusian capital of Minsk after a reported bomb threat. A Mikoyan MiG-29 jet was scrambled to escort the plane. The bomb threat came up empty after the aircraft had landed. The Belarusian authorities specified later that Roman Protasevich, wanted in Belarus as a co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, which the Belarusian authorities recognized as extremist, had been among the flight’s passengers. He was detained by Belarusian law enforcement agents.

Following the incident, the European Union barred Belarusian air companies from operating flights to EU airports and using the European Union’s airspace, and banned European air carriers from using Belarusian airspace. The US, in turn, announced that it would reimpose restrictions on nine Belarusian state enterprises.