Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Jacek Protasiewicz: EU will continue policy of economic sanctions

The expulsion of Swedish Ambassador Stefan Eriksson was unfounded and unjustified, Jacek Protasiewicz, vice president of the European Parliament who heads the Parliament's delegation for relations with Belarus, told RIA Novosti.

"Such moves by the Belarusian authorities indicate that they are not ready to take any real steps to improve their record on human rights and democratic freedoms," Mr. Protasiewicz said. "Unfortunately, Minsk is ignoring the European Union's calls for respecting human rights, which means that there will be no progress in relations between the EU and Belarus in the near term, he said. They will move in opposite directions and the EU will continue to pursue a policy of economic sanctions and other restrictive measures against Belarus," he said.

Mr. Protasiewicz urged the Belarusian government to stop violating human rights and to release all political prisoners.