The widespread unrest and political tensions in Belarus have prompted the UK to temporarily recall its ambassador, Jacqueline Perkins, from the country.
In the wake of protests against his disputed reelection, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expelled 35 diplomats from Lithuania and Poland. He claimed that the two countries interfered in internal matters.
The president has refused to respond to the opposition`s demands that he should resign and said they are Western “puppets” trying to remove him from power.
A number of countries, including the UK, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic, have withdrawn their ambassadors from Belarus.
The foreign secretary of the UK, Dominic Raab said the Belarusian president`s move was in solidarity with Poland and Lithuania – critics of Mr Lukashenko
He tweeted: “(The UK) condemns Belarus’ decision to expel Polish & Lithuanian diplomats. Completely unjustified and will only isolate the Belarusian people. In solidarity, we are temporarily recalling our Ambassador for consultations on the situation in Belarus.”
🇬🇧 condemns Belarus’ decision to expel Polish & Lithuanian diplomats. Completely unjustified and will only isolate the Belarusian people. In solidarity, we are temporarily recalling our Ambassador for consultations on the situation in Belarus
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) October 9, 2020
During the protests against the election of President Alexander Lukashenko, authorities in Minsk cracked down on protesters. Hundreds of Belarusians were detained during this week`s protests.
Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Reuters: “The Belarusian authorities requested us to limit the number of our diplomatic personnel in Belarus. That means that more than 30 diplomats are leaving Belarus right now and coming back to Warsaw.”
Relations between European capitals and the Minsk will further worsen because of the diplomatic stand-off.