Makei: Belarus is ready to strike back hard in response to sanctions

15:29, 15 November

Belarus is ready for a really tough response to the sanctions, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters on 12 November, BelTA has learned.

“The main point is that we need a normal, responsible, equal, respectful dialogue in order to find a comprehensive solution to the migrant crisis. Our readiness for such a dialogue does not mean that Belarus is in a weak position, contrary to how opponents to the authorities and their Western patrons tried or trying to present it. As soon as President Lukashenko announced some time ago that we were ready for a dialogue, they immediately said: “Yeah, Lukashenko is giving up, he has demonstrated his weakness, so we need to push further with sanctions, and this way we will achieve our goals.” No one will ever be able to achieve any goals through this kind of pressure, threats and blackmail. Nobody is giving up and is not going to. Believe me, I know what I am saying,” Vladimir Makei said.

“Belarus is ready for the toughest response to any sanctions imposed by our European partners. Sanctions are absolutely unacceptable. The politicians who are running the European Union member states should have realized it a long time ago,” the foreign minister noted.

When asked how much the situation between Belarus and the EU should worsen for Belarus to retaliate in the toughest way, and, for example, cut off gas supplies to Europe, the minister said: “The situation is very difficult. We regard the statements that are being made by our still European partners as absolutely ill-conceived and, I would even say, insane. Increased sanctions pressure will not lead to anything good for either side. It cannot be worse than that. Therefore, in case the European Union and other Western partners decide to proceed with additional sanctions against Belarus, we will be forced to retaliate in the toughest way. How? The government has been discussing it for some time. The situation will force us to retaliate.”

Vladimir Makei was asked a clarifying question whether the issue of cutting gas supplies was on the table. "We will be ready to take any of the toughest and most extreme measures," he replied.

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