Belarus quits EU's Eastern Partnership program

Monday, 28. June 2021 16:34

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that Minsk has decided to withdraw from the European Union's initiative Eastern Partnership (EaP), formed in 2009 to enhance trade, economic, travel, and other arrangements between the bloc and six former countries of the Soviet Union – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The ministry stated it has summoned the EU's representative in Minsk, Dirk Schuebel, to inform him about "concrete steps within the framework of a forced response to actions that threaten the national security of Belarus and cause direct damage to its economy and citizens." It added it has also banned several of Brussels's officials from entering the country.

Minsk's reaction comes in response to the EU's latest sanctions on Belarus, which the bloc passed after the Eastern European country seemingly forcefully grounded Ryanair's airplane to arrest one of its passengers, opposition figure Roman Protasevich.

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