© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko attends a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2022. Sputnik/Alexander Astafyev/Pool via REUTERS
(Reuters) – Sanctions imposed on Belarus have prevented it from exporting goods worth $1.6 to $18 billion a year to the West, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko was quoted as saying late on Sunday by Berta news agency.
Belarus and Russia were sanctioned after Moscow sent tens of thousands of soldiers into Ukraine on February 24 from Russian and Belarusian territories in what was described as a “special military operation aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” its neighbors “.
Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegations are baseless and the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.
“Because of the sanctions, almost all Belarusian exports to the EU and North American countries have been blocked,” Golovchenko said, according to a transcript of an interview with Dubai’s Arab TV published by Berta State News. mechanism.
“That’s … about $16 billion to $18 billion a year.”
President Aleksandr Lukashenko insisted that Belarus must be involved in negotiations to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, saying Belarus was unfairly labelled an “accomplice of the aggressor”.
Belarus was also hit with tough sanctions last year after a Ryanair flight between Athens and Vilnius was intercepted and a dissident journalist and his girlfriend were arrested after the plane landed.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Stephen Coates)