Russia ‘concerned’ over new EU sanctions against Iran, Belarus

Russia has said it is concerned over new EU sanctions against Iran and Belarus.


Earlier this week, the foreign ministers of the 27 EU nations voted to impose visa bans and asset freezes on 16 Belarusian officials and 29 Iranian individuals, extending previous measures in response to crackdowns on dissent.


“Experience shows that unilateral sanctions, avoiding the UN Security Council, rarely lead to the sought-for results,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters in Moscow.


Lukashevich said such measures “inevitably exert a negative effect on the political and social situation in countries subject to sanctions.”


Russia is also concerned by the bloc’s threatening to tighten sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Lukashevich also said that Russia “reserves its right” to respond to the U.S. decision to impose a visa ban on a number of Russian officials linked to the death in custody of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

In addition, he criticized western support for Kosovar Albanians, saying it may have a negative impact on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

“We believe that backing the exaggerated ambitions of Kosovar Albanians and the reliance on force will inevitably have negative effect on the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue,” he said.

EU mediator Robert Cooper was in Belgrade and Pristina this week to help salvage the Belgrade-Pristina talks, but to no avail.

While Belgrade has insisted that the two sides revisit the crisis in northern Kosovo, and solve problems at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings, Pristina said those issues are no longer negotiable.



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