Belarus tells US to cut Embassy staff after sanctions

18:19, 11 August 2021
Belarus tells US to cut Embassy staff after sanctions Photo:

Belarus has issued a statement in which it tells the United States to cut its Embassy staff in Minsk down to five people.

This came as a response to the American sanctions that were imposed on several Belarusian officials and governmental agencies.

Similar sanctions were also imposed by Canada and the UK with the aim of pressuring President Alexander Lukashenko into changing his political course.

A spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry described the counter sanctions as "our reaction to their unfriendly and even aggressive actions."

"Against the background of Washington's actions to reduce cooperation in all spheres and the economic strangling of our country, we objectively do not see a reason for the American diplomatic mission to keep high staff numbers in Belarus," he added.

The Belarusian government also revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as US ambassador to Belarus. She has not been able to enter the country since last December due to issues with her visa.

Earlier, when the UK imposed sanctions on Belarus, Belarusian President Lukashenko responded “choke on them” and called the UK “America’s lapdogs.”

The UK, the US, and other major European countries criticize Lukashenko for his crackdown on protests a year earlier, the situation for the Olympic athlete Kristina Timanovskaya and the arrest of Roman Protasevich for his role in the opposition Telegram channel Nexta.