War of Diplomats Between Belarus and the EUFebruary 29th, 2012 Belarus | Eastern Europe | Human rights | News
“In expression of solidarity and unity, it was agreed that the ambassadors of the EU member states in Minsk will all be withdrawn for consultations to their capitals,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement. It was also decided that all EU Member States will summon Belarusian ambassadors to their foreign ministries.
The decision comes after the Belarusian authorities had called on the head of the EU delegation to Belarus and Poland’s ambassador to Belarus to return to their capitals “for consultations”. The official Minsk also said it was going to recall its own envoys from Brussels and Warsaw and could take “other measures to protect its interests” in case of further pressure, as the foreign ministry spokesman said.
Poland issued a statement saying it regards Minsk’s move as “an unfriendly step taken by Belarus towards the whole European Union”. Carld Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister wrote on his Twitter account “Lukashenka throws out Ambassadors of EU and Poland. Dictator starts burning the last bridges. Normally does not end well.”
The Foreign Ministry of Belarus accused the European Union of “continuing with its policy of undisguised pressure,” and “in response, Belarus will forbid entry to Belarus to those individuals who helped introduce those restricting measures.”
The Belarusian reactions came the day the EU formally adopted new sanctions against Belarus, imposing restrictions on 21 judges and policemen,in protest to the deteriorating human rights situation. The targeted officials are banned from travelling to the EU and their assets held by EU companies will be frozen. Today more than 200 people are on the EU’s blacklist.
The official Belarus reaction>>
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