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Moscow will not leave unnoticed possible EU sanctions against Belarus, Chizhov says

MINSK, 23 March (BelTA) - Moscow will not leave unnoticed the economic sanctions that the EU is planning to impose against Belarus because they can hurt Russia’s interests too, Russian permanent envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov was quoted as saying by the Russian Interfax news agency with reference to the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

“I have repeatedly warned our EU partners that in view of the increasing degree of integration between Belarus and Russia and the Customs Union and the prospects for transition to the Eurasian Economic Union, the economic sanctions will have more direct implications, including for Russian interests, and will not remain unnoticed,” Vladimir Chizhov said in a live broadcast on Rossiya-24 TV Channel while commenting on a possible decision of the EU foreign ministers to impose economic sanctions on Belarus on 23 March.

According to him, the previous decision on Belarus was purely procedural one. They just introduced the criteria for sanctions. Vladimir Chizhov expressed concern that the sanctions which the EU intends to take against Belarus on Friday would be fundamentally different.

Prior to this, Vladimir Chizhov recalled, the EU adopted several decisions to ban entry to a group of people from Belarus. The group was constantly expanded and is already in three digit numbers.

“Now things are about economic sanctions,” said the diplomat. He noted that the Belarusian economy is largely export-oriented.

“Let's wait and see what will become of it because the position of the EU countries is not that unambiguous,” Vladimir Chizhov said. He explained that there are no defenders of Lukashenko in the EU. But there are those who defend their own pockets; there are countries that satisfy a significant part of their needs in petroleum products, for example, by means of supplying them from Belaru