Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Serbia joins EU-imposed sanctions against Belarus

Belarus will continue normal relations with Serbia even after it joined the sanctions imposed against the country by the EU, a Belarus MFA spokesman has said.

"There is no doubt that Belarus will be interested in developing normal economic relations with Serbia and that the sanctions will not pose a barrier," spokesman Andrei Savinih stated, speaking about future relations between Belgrade and Minsk.

On June 8, EU Catherine Ashton "welcomed the decision of Serbia" - and several other countries, most of which are candidates or potential candidates for EU membership, to join the sanctions Brussels imposed on Minsk on March 23.

The sanctions are aimed against several Belarus companies and individuals who are on the list of financiers and supporters of President Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

The government in Minsk expressed regret on Monday over the decision of Serbia and six other countries to join the EU sanctions.

"We reiterate that the policy of sanctions lacks perspective. It sows distrust and prevents a real resolution of disputes. We are saddened by this decision. It is obviously a demonstration of loyalty to a center of power which requires such actions and is prepared to reward them," said Savinih.

Serbia also decided to join a group of countries and support the EU decision to impose sanctions against another country - Syria, reports Tanjug.

This puts Serbia in the company of Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Iceland, Albania, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova and Georgia.