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West tries to deal blow on integration in post-Soviet space — Belarusian speaker

"The collective West has begun a process of the country's economic strangulation," speaker of the lower house of the Belarusian parliament Vladimir Andreichenko noted

MINSK, July 1. /TASS/. The West tries to deal a blow on integration processes in the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and also the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the speaker of the lower house of the Belarusian parliament, Vladimir Andreichenko, said at a session of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly in Dushanbe on Thursday.

"Quite obvious are the real aims of the West's great game - to oust Belarus as a competitor from the world markets, to deal a blow on the integration projects of the Union State, the EAEU and the CSTO, and to turn our country into a springboard of further struggle for Russia's resources and markets. I am certain that we will not permit such a scenario," the press-service of the lower house of parliament quotes Andreichenko as saying.

He stressed that on the pretext of the Belarusian people's alleged interests attempts to put pressure on the country were continuing.

"The collective West has begun a process of the country's economic strangulation… Sanctions have been imposed on the largest industrial enterprises of Belarus, our world-famous brands - MAZ and Belaz. Plans are being drafted for applying further so-called sectoral sanctions with the aim of triggering chaos and turmoil and undermining the country's sovereignty and independence," Andreichenko said.

Situation in Belarus

On August 9, 2020 Belarus held a presidential election, in which according to official statistics available from the Central Election Commission, the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko emerged the winner. The runner-up, Svetlana Tikhanovskya, representing the opposition, refused to recognize the election returns and left the country. Several months of mass protest demonstrations followed.

The leadership of a number of European countries and the United States do not recognize the results of the elections and argue that the Belarusian law enforcers took an unduly hard line towards the protesters. Against this background the West has been imposing sanctions and other restrictions against Belarus. On June 25, the European Union's sectoral sanctions against Belarus took effect. This is the first case in history of economic restrictions imposed on Minsk.

Also, the European Union has by now introduced four packages of individual sanctions against 166 Belarusian individuals and 15 legal entities, including heavy mining and quarrying dump trucks manufacturers MAZ and Belaz. All persons on the list were prohibited from entering the EU and accessing the EU's financial markets. The European businesses have been prohibited from maintaining any relations with the legal entities in question. Also, the EU countries stopped flights over Belarus and banned Belarusian air carriers from the EU's airspace.

Minsk has slammed such sanctions shortsighted, harmful and tantamount to intervention in the internal affairs of Belarus.