Belarus has reacted to the EU imposing travel and financial sanctions on its own government officials by announcing its own sanctions against figures in the European Union, although the list has not been published.

In a remarkably conciliatory message, the Foreign Ministry said that “Belarus is always in words and in fact against confrontation. We are for dialogue and understanding. But as a sovereign state, we are also determined, albeit not without regret, to respond to unfriendly actions in order to naturally protect our national interests.”

The ministry went on to call on the EU ‘to open borders for all Belarussians. It also called for “joint efforts” to combat common challenges, such as illegal migration, international crime and terrorism, the pandemic of infectious diseases and their socio-economic consequences.”

In language reminiscent of the Soviet era, the ministry said that attempts “to impose” externally-approved representatives and projects of ‘some governments in exile” were doomed to fail.

Meanwhile, the undoubted victor of the August 9 election in Belarus, Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel within the next few days.

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Lukashenko at his fraudulent inauguration Reuters