Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Deputy minister reassures Lithuanian businesses over EU sanctions against Belarus

The European Union's sanctions against Belarus will not harm Lithuanian businesses, Evaldas Ignatavicius, the Baltic country's deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos zinioms.

He explained that the 27-nation bloc's sanctions targeted specific individuals rather than the entire Belarusian economy or public and dismissed warnings that the sanctions could lead Lithuanian companies to lose billions of dollars as "theoretical speculation imposed on us."

Mr. Ignatavicius stressed that he saw no preconditions for an economic war between Belarus and the European Union.

"Restrictive measures have been applied against 32 companies and three businesspeople that control them," he was quoted as saying. "The EU has not introduced any large-scale economic sanctions against Belarus, the measures are targeted."

Mr. Ignatavicius warned that EU businesses affected as a result of sanctions imposed on non-EU countries had no right to compensation.

He expressed certainty that Lithuanian businesspeople were cautious enough to take political issues into consideration and assess all possible risks while striking business deals with Belarus.