Minsk responded on the decision of the Council of the European Union to prolong sanctions against Belarus.
"Today's [October 15] decision of the European Council in fact freezes relations between Belarus and the European Union at a level that cannot make the parties feel comfortable," said Andrei Savinykh, spokesman for Belarus' Foreign Ministry. "The Belarusian side will not succumb to pressure. We think that this policy of the EU is not compatible with neighborly relationships. The overcoming of the existing differences can only be based on the parties' motion towards each other."
Mr. Savinykh also urged the EU "to stop thinking of sanctions, and to make an effort to restore an atmosphere of mutual trust."
"The Belarusian side declares its fundamental interest in a constructive and respectful dialogue with the EU and is ready to work together in this direction," he said.
The Council of the European Union decided on October 15 to prolong sanctions against the Belarusian authorities until October 31, 2013.