MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 6, 2020: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova during a briefing on Russia's foreign policy. Alexander Shcherbak/TASSÐîññèÿ. Ìîñêâà. Îôèöèàëüíûé ïðåäñòàâèòåëü ÌÈÄ Ðîññèè Ìàðèÿ Çàõàðîâà âî âðåìÿ áðèôèíãà ïî òåêóùèì âîïðîñàì âíåøíåé ïîëèòèêè. Àëåêñàíäð Ùåðáàê/ÒÀÑÑ

Invitation for Tikhanovskaya to Brussels is interference in Belarusian affairs: diplomat

MOSCOW (TASS): Brussels’ overtures to the former Belarusian presidential candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and invitation for her to attend a meeting of the EU foreign ministers amount to interference in the republic’s affairs, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday.

“EU foreign ministers’ overtures to the self-appointed Belarusian opposition representative and her invitation to Brussels ‘to communicate’ is an integral part of the scenario to meddle in Belarus’ domestic affairs. It is a brazen violation of fundamental norms of the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which anniversaries are marked by international community this year,” she said.

The option for a change of power in Belarus with the help of sanctions and the recognition of ‘impostors’ have become entrenched in the European Union’s foreign policy, Zakharova said.

“In general, we can see that disrespect for objective intra-political realities, rampant support to opposition forces, up to recognition of ‘impostors’ by certain EU member states which Brussels is unable to ‘rein in,’ and the option to oust the current government through sanctions, pressure and propaganda are being increasingly entrenched in the EU foreign policy arsenal. Regrettably, Belarus is not the only example in this respect,” she said.

EU sanctions against Belarusian officials could obstruct dialogue within the country and could prevent the restoration of stability, Zakharova said.

“Our stance on the European Union’s sanctions instrument is well-known. It is illegitimate from the point of view of international law and is nothing else but inadmissible interference in domestic affairs,” she said. “With regard to the situation in Belarus, it runs counter to the goals of restoring stability, of launching a dialogue and a constitution process and of easing tensions, which EU representatives have been talking so much about.”

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