EU may pull all envoys from Belarus after Swedish ambassador expulsion

EU may pull all envoys from Belarus after Swedish ambassador expulsion

PanARMENIAN.Net - In response to Belarus’s expulsion of Swedish Ambassador Stefan Eriksson, the EU’s Political and Security Committee (PCS) may coordinate a withdrawal of all EU ambassadors from Belarus, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti, the news agency reported.

A diplomatic row erupted last week when Belarus refused to renew Eriksson’s accreditation over a July 4 incident, in which a Swedish light plane dropped hundreds of plush teddy bears bearing pro-democracy slogans over Belarus.

On Wednesday, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said it would withdraw its entire embassy staff from Stockholm and ordered the Swedish government to pull its diplomats out of Minsk by August 30.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko sacked a number of top officials over the teddy bear stunt.

Commenting on Minsk’s move, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on his Twitter account that Eriksson had been expelled from Belarus “for being too supportive of human rights.”

In power since 1994, the Belarusian strongman has been accused by western governments of violently cracking down on dissent.

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