MINSK, June 28. /TASS/. Belarus suspends its participation in the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative and initiates the procedure of suspension of the readmission agreement with the Union, Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced Monday.
The Ministry noted that the EU delegation head Dirk Schuebel was summoned over the unprecedented restrictive measures imposed against Belarus.
"The diplomat was informed about specific steps, taken as a forced reaction to the actions that threaten the national security of Belarus and directly damage its economy and its citizens. The Republic of Belarus suspends its participation in the Eastern Partnership initiative," the statement says. "It also initiates the procedure of suspension of the readmission agreement with the EU."
During the meeting, the EU envoy was informed about Belarus’s firm position that the use of sanctions as an instrument of pressure on a sovereign and independent state is totally unacceptable.
"We cannot fulfill our obligations under this Agreement amid the sanctions and restrictions, imposed by the EU," the Foreign Ministry noted. "With deep regret we state that the forced suspension of the Agreement will negatively affect the cooperation with the EU on fighting illegal migration and organized crime".
Minsk withdraws its envoy
Belarus also withdrew its representative to the EU and recommended Brussels to do the same; besides, it imposed a ban on EU officials, involved in the development of the recently imposed sanctions.
"The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the EU has been recalled to Minsk for consultations. The head of the EU delegation in the Republic of Belarus was also offered to depart to Brussels for consultations, in order to relay the Belarusian position on total unacceptability of sanctions to his superiors," the statement says, adding that "entry will be barred to representatives of European agencies and EU citizens involved in the imposition of the restrictive measures".
The Ministry also stated the Minsk continues working on other reaction measures, including economic ones.
"We hope that the officials of the EU and its member states would realize the flawed nature of and the lack of perspective for the decisions on the use of forceful approach in relations with Belarus," the statement says. "Belarusian offers of development of a dialogue, interaction and cooperation with the EU, based on principles of equality and mutual respect remain in effect".