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Russia Welcomes EU Decision To Lift Belarus Sanctions

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EU Lifts Most Sanctions On Belarus

EU foreign ministers have voted to abandon a handful of sanctions against Belarus over its rights and democracy record and adopted an EU Council text praising mutual cooperation, furthering a thaw that critics fear will let the authoritarian regime in Minsk off the hook too quickly.

Russia has welcomed a decision by EU foreign ministers to lift sanctions against Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka over the country's rights and democracy record.

The EU ministers agreed on February 15 that 170 Belarusians, including Lukashenka, along with three blacklisted Belarusian companies should be permanently removed from the EU list of those facing asset freezes and visa bans.

"Naturally we perceive this very positively," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 16, commenting on the EU decision to abandon restrictive measures against the Belarusian leader.

Peskov added that the move "simply demonstrates once again the absolutely senseless nature of sanctions."

Russian officials and companies are themselves facing economic sanctions from the EU, United States, and other countries over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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