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Russia hopes EU ultimately sees necessity of open dialogue with Belarus - Lavrov

Conversation on this topic should be open and honest, Russian Foreign Minister said

PARIS, November 12. /TASS/. Russia hope the European Union ultimately sees the necessity of an open and honest dialogue with Belarus on the most acute problems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

"I told European Council President Charles Michel today: if you are interested in resolving problems with Belarus, you will probably have to choose - either you want consultations, as Mrs Angela Merkel offers to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, or you want to demonstrate your might, your aggression and impose illegitimate sanctions on the country. I think conversation on this topic should be open and honest. I hope sound minds in the European Union understand it, hear these argumentation, but, regrettably, the aggressive minority is having the upper hand in the European Union," he noted.

Lavrov recalled that following the incident with an Ryanair flight in June, the Belarusian president suggested consultations be organized to clarify all the circumstances of the incident, but the European Union turned down the idea of talk and imposed sanctions. The International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal has not yet finished the probe, he noted. "Its deadline has been postponed twice and it is unlikely to be over by the end of this year," he added.

Following the incident, the European Union banned Belarusian air carriers from making flights to EU airports and over the EU territory. It also recommended European air companies refuse from flying over Belarus. More than 20 countries have closed their airspace for Belarus’ air company Belavia.