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2020.10.12 18:05

Lithuania recalls another 6 diplomats from Belarus after pressure from regime

BNS2020.10.12 18:05

In response to the Belarusian authorities' ultimatum, Lithuania's Foreign Ministry has decided to recall another six diplomats from Minsk and Grodno.

The Belarusian regime had threatened to put Lithuanian diplomats on the persona non grata list, which would have limited their possibilities to work in the future, according to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

In early October, Belarus recalled its ambassadors from Vilnius and Warsaw and urged Lithuania and Poland to recall their ambassadors and downsize their diplomatic staff.

Minsk told Vilnius to recall 11 diplomats, and Warsaw to recall 32.

Poland immediately fulfilled the demand but Lithuania's diplomatic service initially decided to recall just five diplomats.

Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman for the foreign minister, told BNS on Monday the Minsk did not agree with such a compromise.

"The Belarusian side did not take our compromise proposals into account and continued with its ultimatum to have the number of Lithuanian diplomats reduced,” said Jakilaitienė.

She added that Lithuania is seeking ways to prevent the limiting of diplomatic contacts.

"Just like our EU partners, we are convinced that at this moment when the Belarusian regime limits any contact with the West, diplomatic representation in Belarus is becoming more important," Jakilaitieėe said.

In solidarity with Lithuania and Poland, the majority of EU member states and the UK have recalled their ambassadors from Minsk.

Read more: Lithuania blocks millions in EU funding to Belarus