Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Minsk responded to EU sanctions

"The Belarusian side regrets the decision taken by the EU Council on the imposition of additional sanctions against a number of Belarusian citizens and businesses", spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Andrei Savinykh said at a briefing in Minsk on March 23.

"This step further alienates the prospects of normalization of relations and resume dialogue on sensitive issues for the parties", said Savinykh.

"European politicians", he added, "are in thrall of thought conflict, they remain hostage of the logic of coercion and blackmail".

"We must immediately begin to implement a set of responses. About this possibility our European partners were made ​​aware in advance", BelaPAN quotes Savinykh.

"In today's conditions Belarusian party sees no need for presence in the territory of Belarus the recalled ambassadors who voted for this decision", the foreign minister concluded.

We remind, on March 23 Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union has expanded the list of Belarusian officials and companies that fall under the sanctions. This was reported by the correspondent of Radio Liberty in Brussels.

Sanctions expanded at the expense of 29 companies and 12 individuals - judges, prosecutors, business leaders, who, according to the EU, responsible for human rights abuses and repressions against the opposition and civil society, as well as support or are beneficiaries of the government of Alexander Lukashenko.