Belarus agrees broad European Union sanctions deal

Belarus has agreed to a broad new package of economic sanctions against the European Union, according to Belarussian Foreign Minister Pavel Andreevich. Among the new measures are limits on exports of certain technology -…

Belarus agrees broad European Union sanctions deal

Belarus has agreed to a broad new package of economic sanctions against the European Union, according to Belarussian Foreign Minister Pavel Andreevich.

Among the new measures are limits on exports of certain technology – including social networking tools – and a freeze on assets.

Belarus’s agreement came during a visit by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Belarus was one of the most prominent victims of Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, receiving billions of dollars in cheap loans and loans from Moscow.

The sanctions are in response to what the EU and US regard as heavy-handed repression by President Alexander Lukashenko.

Mr Andreevich described the new measures, detailed in a joint statement, as “truly unacceptable”.

He said they were an “irrational” attempt to make Belarus a “bargaining chip” in a conflict between Russia and the West.

Europe’s policy towards Belarus depends largely on Russia, which is seeking access to its oil and gas resources in exchange for its support of Mr Lukashenko.

However, Russia also exports military equipment to its tiny neighbour.

Belarus welcomed the European Commission’s decision in February to remove some previous EU trade restrictions in exchange for promised political and commercial reforms.

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