Thu, March 15, 2012
World > Europe

Russia offers to help Belarus withstand EU sanctions

2012-03-15 10:35:13 GMT2012-03-15 18:35:13(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Russia will support Belarus if the European Union (EU) tightens sanctions against this country, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.

"I can only say we will not allow anybody to offend our Belorussian colleagues," Rogozin told the reporters after meeting with his visiting Belorussian counterpart Vladimir Semashko.

The two sides have discussed interaction within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and cooperation in the frameworks of the Common Economic Space and the Customs Union.

Rogozin stressed that Moscow and Minsk would cooperate more at the intergovernmental level than the military-technical level.

The EU introduced sanctions in February against Belorussian top officials and three companies as a reprisal for Minsk's alleged oppression against opposition. The sanctions include ban on travel and freezing their assets in European banks.

Earlier in March, Belorussian President Alexandr Lukashenko called the EU sanctions against his country "absolutely hysterical".

Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan have criticized the EU sanctions, saying they could pose a threat to the Customs Union formed by the three countries.

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