Accessibility links

Russia Slams Belarus Crackdown, Sanctions

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's crackdown on the opposition following his disputed December reelection was "unacceptable," but called a new series of Western sanctions "politically motivated."

Lavrov said it would be more effective to engage Belarus in dialogue than to isolate it through sanctions.

Lavrov was speaking after talks with his Lithuanian counterpart Audronius Azubalis, whose country holds the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Earlier this week the European Union and United States imposed a new set of sanctions on Lukashenka and more than 150 Belarusian officials.

compiled from agency reports