Belarus denounces 'absurd' new sanctions over border crisis

Belarus denounces 'absurd' new sanctions over border crisis
The Belarusian foreign ministry has denounced new sanctions placed on the ex-Soviet country by the European Union following a crisis along Belarus' borders that placed hundreds of migrants at risk.
2 min read
02 December, 2021
Western governments have accused Belarus of luring migrants to the country to spark a border crisis with the EU in revenge for sanctions [source: Getty]

Belarus on Thursday denounced expanded Western sanctions imposed on the ex-Soviet country over its border crisis that put hundreds of migrants at risk. 

"The depth of the absurdity of the EU's decision on the latest sanctions against sovereign Belarus and its very content is by now difficult to comprehend," the Belarusian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said that European officials "imagined some aggression" from the Belarusian side and "hypocritically delivered a sanctions blow".

The ministry also accused the West of "demonising" Belarus and vowed "tough" retaliatory measures.

"The burden of responsibility is placed on Belarus while blatantly ignoring the true causes of the global migration crisis," it said.

In recent months thousands of migrants from the Middle East have travelled to Belarus in the hopes of entering the EU through Poland.

About 2,000 people last month camped out on the border in freezing conditions before the makeshift camp was cleared out by border guards and the migrants moved to a logistics centre.

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The United States, Canada and European allies on Thursday announced fresh sanctions on Belarus, placing restrictions on government figures and entities.

The sanctions targeted senior security and justice officials, prominent media figures, a son of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, defence-related firms and a major fertilizer exporter.

Lukashenko's regime has faced multiple rounds of Western sanctions over a crackdown on opposition protests last year and the forced grounding of a European passenger flight over Minsk in May.

Western governments accuse Lukashenko of luring the migrants to his country to spark a border crisis with the EU in revenge for sanctions, which he denies.