The regime of authoritarian Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka says it will ban a wide range of food imports from European Union members states, the United States, and other countries starting next year in retaliation for sanctions imposed against Minsk.
The ban will concern imports from the EU, the United States, Canada, Britain, Norway, Albania, Iceland, Northern Macedonia, and Montenegro, the government said on December 7.
The measure, which is set to remain in force for six months starting on January 1, will cover foodstuffs such as meat, sausages, dairy products, vegetables, fruit, and salt.
Baby food and dietary items will be exempted.
The government said more products could be banned in the event of further Western sanctions.
The European Union, the United States, and other Western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Minsk over Lukashenka's crackdown on pro-democracy protests against his disputed reelection in August 2020.
Last week, punitive measures were widened on officials and businesses for allegedly stoking a migration crisis at the EU's eastern border.
Belarus has denied it has funneled migrants, mainly from the Middle East, to Belarus's border with Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036