Belarus made a decision to leave one consul and three administrative and technical staff at the Lithuanian embassy in the republic. It was reported on Tuesday, July 6, by the agency “BelTA“With reference to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.
Earlier that day, the department announced a decision to reduce to a minimum the diplomatic representation of Lithuania in the republic until it canceled unfriendly initiatives.
“It was decided to leave at the Lithuanian Embassy one consular officer to resolve consular issues in the interests of citizens, as well as three employees of the administrative and technical staff,” the publication says.
The decision was made by the Belarusian side after the office of the leader of the Belarusian opposition and ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya received diplomatic status in Lithuania. She has been in Lithuania since August last year, where she left after the presidential elections, the results of which she refused to recognize.
As pointed out in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the actions of Vilnius continue a series of “ridiculous and openly hostile steps, directly contrary to the spirit and level of good-neighborly relations and undermining bilateral cooperation.”
Earlier, on July 6, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced that Minsk allows restrictions on transport transit in the event of new sanctions by Western countries against the republic. In his opinion, the state should take all measures so that the West would understand “what Belarus is”.
On June 25, the economic sectoral sanctions of the European Union against Belarus came into force. To date, the EU has introduced four packages of individual sanctions, which have affected 166 individuals and 15 legal entities, including factories such as MAZ and BelAZ.
Western measures against Minsk are being introduced against the background of the incident with the Ryanair airliner, which on May 23 made an emergency landing in the Belarusian capital due to a message about mining, which was not subsequently confirmed. On board the liner was the ex-chief editor of the NEXTA Telegram channel recognized in Belarus as extremist, Roman Protasevich. After the plane landed, the blogger and his companion, Russian woman Sophia Sapega, were arrested.