“Russia supports Belarus in & nbsp; resisting Western pressure. We are pursuing a coordinated policy of & nbsp; taking response measures, joint & ldquo; stop lists & rdquo;, helping to mitigate the negative socio-economic consequences of restrictions for & nbsp; Belarusian citizens. We will continue this close cooperation with & nbsp; Minsk & raquo;, & nbsp; & mdash; Pankin said in an & nbsp; interview with the agency.
Relations between Belarus and the Western countries deteriorated sharply after the presidential elections in the & nbsp; republic, which were held in & nbsp; August 2020 and & nbsp; on & nbsp; which Alexander Lukashenko won for & nbsp; the sixth time. In & nbsp; the country hosted unauthorized mass protest actions of the opposition, which, among other things, were suppressed by law enforcement officers with & nbsp; the help of special equipment and & nbsp; special means. On February 11, the KGB of Belarus said that & nbsp; protests practically disappeared.
The Belarusian authorities have repeatedly stated that & nbsp; protests in the & nbsp; country are coordinated from across the border. Lukashenko accused the West of & nbsp; direct intervention in & nbsp; the situation in & nbsp; republic, noted that & nbsp; unrest is directed by the United States, and & nbsp; Europeans & nbsp; & nbsp; play along. The European Union, Great Britain, USA, Canada and & nbsp; a number of other countries gradually introduced sanctions against Belarusian officials, as well as enterprises, accusing Minsk of & nbsp; violations in the & nbsp; elections and & nbsp; violation of human rights. On & nbsp; last Thursday, the US, UK, Canada and & nbsp; EU announced new sanctions against Belarus. This is & nbsp; already the fifth sanctions package from & nbsp; last year's presidential elections in & nbsp; Belarus, after which protests were held in & nbsp; the country.