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Swedish ambassador expelled Friday

Belarus media attacks in diplomatic row

Published lördag 4 augusti 2012 kl 16.56
Svenska ambassadören i Vitryssland, Stefan Eriksson, och president Alexander Lukashenko. Foto: Scanpix. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

Belarussian media have been criticising the now expelled Swedish ambassador to Belarus in the past week, while human-rights workers in the country now praise his efforts. Stefan Eriksson, who had held the job since 2008, was expelled from Belarus on Friday.

"Most of all, Eriksson has demolished relations between Sweden and Belarus," the Belarus foreign ministry spokesperson Andrei Svinykha told Swedish Radio.

State-controlled media in Belarus have reported on Eriksson's contacts with opponents to the Lukashenko regime since Tuesday this week. A regime-friendly analyst pointed blamed Eriksson for Ikea's absence from the Belarussian market.

Meanwhile, Swedish Radio reports that human-rights organisations in Belarus have thanked the former ambassador for his efforts.

Over half of the nearly US$ 20 million Sweden provided in development aid to Belarus last year went to democratic projects, such as supporting the country's free press.

Swedish ambassador thrown out of Belarus

Belarus has effectively expelled the Swedish ambassador amid criticism from the Swedish foreign ministry and the EU:s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. But accoring to an expert in international law, Sweden's Baltic neighbour has acted in keeping with diplomatic practise.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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