Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the EU’s restrictions on Belarus

We noted the EU’s October 2 decision to adopt new restrictive measures as regards Belarus. A comment declaring response measures has already been released by Belarusian officials.

We see that instead of displaying restraint, which is so vital for stabilisation in Belarus, the European Union has once again resorted to the instrument of sanctions. This approach is unilateral and illegal. It undermines the prerogatives of the UN Security Council and leads to the further erosion of international law.

We think this step is an instance of open and unacceptable pressure on the Belarusian authorities who are trying to stabilise the domestic situation. Once again, the EU did not say a word of support for the constitutional reform aimed at liberalising Belarus’s political system through a national dialogue. This is something that needs to take place not in the streets but in the framework of national law with the involvement of all strata of Belarusian society.

Representatives of the EU and its member countries repeatedly mention lack of geopolitics in their positions. However, the EU’s decisions, its language of threats and other actions regarding Belarus point to the contrary. They are obviously violating one of the key principles of the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act – non-interference in internal affairs.

Instead of playing a constructive role and facilitating stabilisation in Belarus, the EU decided to follow in the wake of some of its members that want to further stir up the internal political situation in Belarus. We urge the EU to think about the dangerous consequences of this policy.

We note that per our allied commitments, the list of Belarusian response sanctions that entered into force today will be automatically applied in the Russian Federation as well.