Minsk [Belarus], June 29 (ANI/Xinhua): Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union (EU) due to the bloc's recently imposed sanctions against the country.
Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Dirk Schuebel was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Monday and informed of the suspension, said the ministry in a statement.
Belarus considers it "unacceptable" to use sanctions as an instrument of pressure on an independent state, and is forced to take concrete steps as a response to the actions that threaten the country's national security and are detrimental to the economy and citizens, the statement added.
EU representatives involved in the introduction of restrictive measures against Belarus will be prohibited from entering the country, the ministry said, and more restrictions are being planned.
Partially in response to the diversion of a commercial flight to Minsk last month, the EU announced new sanctions against 78 individuals and eight entities in Belarus on June 21.
The Eastern Partnership is a joint initiative involving the EU, its member states and six Eastern Partner countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. (ANI/Xinhua)