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2020.09.02 14:32

Belarus drafts sanctions against Baltic states

LRT.lt2020.09.02 14:32

The Belarusian government is responding to Baltic sanctions with measures of its own, the country's foreign minister has announced.

Speaking at a media conference in Moscow, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Wednesday that Minsk had drafted sanctions against individuals from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Read more: Lithuania sanctions 30 Belarusian officials including Lukashenko

“We also carried out interdepartmental coordination, prepared and approved asymmetrical sanctions. We will give an adequate response,” Makei is quoted by Tut.by.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry will not publish the list, but it will include individuals who “zealously tried to interfere in the affairs of the Belarusian state, made proposals for financial support of its opponents”, according to Makei.

Commenting on Makei's statement, Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said there was no reason to sanction the Baltic countries.

“This is, of course, a matter for the country [Belarus] – if they see a reason to sanction any Lithuanian politician or official, it's their choice. I do not see any basis for that,” Skvernelis told reporters.

On Monday, the Baltic states announced sanctions on Belarusian officials involved in vote-rigging in last month's election and violence against protesters.

The sanctions include travel bans for 30 officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, whose claims of a landslide victory in the election sparked widespread protests in Belarus.

The European Union is also preparing sanctions for Belarusian officials. According to BNS, the draft list includes 17 individuals, but not Lukashenko himself.