Belarus has already prepared retaliatory measures connected with the expansion of sanctions by the United States; they will be put into effect, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department announced that the Central Commission of Belarus for Elections and Holding Republican Referendums, First Deputy Interior Minister Gennady Kazakevich, and some law enforcement units were included in the US sanctions lists. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US State Department had imposed visa restrictions on 39 people involved in “undermining Belarusian democracy.” In total, 63 people are currently under such restrictions in the United States.
“The Belarusian side took note of the information about the next US decision of December 23, 2020, on the introduction of additional visa and financial restrictions on Belarusian individuals and legal entities. We consider this decision emotional and has nothing to do with the real situation… The sanctions tool is obviously useless and counterproductive. At the same time, retaliatory measures on our part have already been prepared and will be put into effect,” the statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website reads.
As the Belarusian ministry noted, “it is said that the United States prefers the path of confrontation to cooperation even in such obvious global challenges as the fight against terrorism,” but “this is their choice.”
“Belarus has always considered it important to maintain normal, mutually beneficial relations with the United States based on equality and mutual respect. It is impossible to move towards such relations without the United States abandoning the policy of the sanctions press,” the statement said.