MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia is concerned with the continual brazen interference of the United States and the European Union in the internal affairs of Belarus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"We are deeply concerned with the attempts of Washington and the European Union to brazenly interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus," the Russian minister said at the opening of the 17th session of the meeting of the heads of the security and intelligence services from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
"They continue exerting political pressure as well as sanctions pressure on the authorities in Minsk and completely ignore at the same time efforts to consolidate the society and hold Constitutional reform," Lavrov continued.
"EU’s recent steps reveal the authentic targets, which served for the formation of the so-called Eastern Partnership, and they speak at the same time about the price, which must be paid for good relations with the West," he added.
The ‘Eastern Partnership’ is a joint initiative of the EU, its member states and six Eastern European partners: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. In June 2021, Minsk announced the suspension of its participation over the sanctions imposed by the EU and the suspension of European programs aimed at the development of cooperation with the republic.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov noted that only the people of Belarus and their legal representatives "have the right to define the future of their country within the framework of the current national legislation."
EU sanctions against Belarus
After the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020, a number of European countries and the US did not recognize the election results and deemed that the actions of Belarusian law enforcement against protesters were excessive. Against this background, the West has repeatedly imposed sanctions and other restrictions aimed at Belarus.
As of today, the European Union has already introduced four packages of individual sanctions, which list 166 individuals and 15 legal entities. The fifth package of the EU sanctions against Minsk is being prepared.