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Russian diplomat slams EU’s policy of pressure on Belarus as unacceptable

"It seems that our EU partners have come to be guided by the principle that the ends justify the means," Maria Zakharova pointed

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Moscow believes that the European Union’s policy of sanctions on Belarus is unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"It seems that our EU partners have come to be guided by the principle that the ends justify the means, thinking that in certain cases it is possible to betray many other principles, so dear to the EU. This particularly concerns the side effects of the sanctions on Minsk. EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said during the June 8 discussions of the Belarusian issue that ‘you cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs.’ This is how I would respond to Mr. Josep Borrell: if you want an omelet, break your own eggs," Zakharova pointed out.

"We consider the logic of international relations that Brussels pursues to be absolutely unacceptable," the Russian diplomat added.

According to her, the situation around the emergency landing of a Ryanair flight at Minsk International Airport became "just another excuse for piling up the pressure of sanctions on Belarus." "The haste with which Brussels decided that there was no need to wait for an impartial international investigation, announced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), raises legitimate questions," Zakharova noted. She emphasized that Russia believed it was important to fully consider the circumstances of what had happened together with Belarus.

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 recommended that European air carriers should avoid Belarusian airspace.