Migrant problems cannot be pretext for sanctions against Minsk — Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© APA | Russian Foreign Ministry

# 10 November 2021 22:28 (UTC +04:00)

Russia considers it unacceptable to use the migrant problems as a pretext for imposing new sanctions against Belarus or any other countries, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Wednesday, APA reports citing Reuters.

"Of course, we believe that it is inadmissible to make the migrant problem a pretext for imposing new sanctions against Belarus, against other countries, including the fifth sanctions package of the European Union," the diplomat said.

The scenario of the West’s sanctions against Minsk over the migrant crisis is realistic, Zakharova noted, stressing that Russia will be providing comprehensive support to the people of Belarus.

"Sanctions, as we have all understood, is the favorite instrument in the policy of our Western partners, that is why this scenario is generally realistic," the diplomat said. The EU’s states bordering on Belarus "prefer to settle the issue of countering illegal migrants not in direct contacts with Belarusian authorities," Zakharova stressed.

"I once again emphasize that since April, they have been offering the European Union, its member nations to hold consultations on this issue," Zakharova said. However, they "continue to stubbornly accuse Belarus of a certain hybrid war," instead of meeting Minsk halfway in its consultation initiatives. "One gets the impression that the Polish-Lithuanian authorities are doing their best to create the situation in which they will time and again punish Minsk instead of resolving an acute humanitarian crisis," the diplomat stressed.

"We see unilateral sanctions against sovereign states unacceptable and illegitimate from the point of view of international law, and reaffirm our determination to offer all-round support to Belarus and its people," the diplomat added.

She also drew attention to the consistency of the West’s calls for sanctions against Minsk. Hearing the new statements regarding sanctions, one may suggest that "Western ill-wishes of Minsk have decided to invent one more plot to use the mechanism of sanctions pressure." This is the impression one gets given the regularity of the statements on the need for new sanctions," Zakharova said.