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Russia, Belarus call unilateral sanctions 'counterproductive'

(Xinhua)

08:58, October 31, 2012

MINSK, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Russia and Belarus consider unilateral sanctions as counterproductive, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei told a Tuesday press briefing in Minsk.

"We are convinced that the unilateral sanctions, to which our Western partners resort more and more often, are counterproductive, " Lavrov said adding that these sanctions do not fit the logic and the essence of the UN Charter principles.

"Only the UN Security Council is authorized to take coercive measures against countries that violate the international law," Lavrov stressed.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that Russia had always voted and will continue to vote against enforcement measures against any country, including Belarus, at international organizations.

For his part, Vladimir Makei said that Belarus is categorically against any foreign political sanctions, which always have bad results. "We think that political sanctions against Belarus or Russia are totally counterproductive," he added.

On Oct. 15, the EU extended sanctions against individuals and companies linked to the Belarus government for another year, in response to the country's "continued incarceration of political prisoners and crackdown on political activists, journalists and civil society representatives."

The sanctions, imposed by the EU and the United States, were condemned by the governments of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in a joint statement.

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