Belarus will not allow the transit of European Union (EU) goods bound for Russia through its territory, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Monday.
The move came after Russia announced last week a one-year ban on imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukraine crisis.
Belarus should fulfill its obligations to "protect the (Customs) Union market from transit of Western cargoes to Russia via Belarus, " Lukashenko said. "If Russia closes its market for certain goods, we should not allow the transit of these products to Russia via Belarus."
However, the internal market should not be affected by the ban, the president said during a meeting with Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich. "We discussed this issue separately with the Russian president. This is our internal matter," Lukashenko said.
"If we need Polish apples, we'll buy them, not for Russia, but for the domestic market," he added.