Diplomatic crisis

Belarus embassy in Stockholm gets the boot

Published onsdag 8 augusti 2012 kl 11.26
Updated, onsdag 8 augusti 2012 kl 20.35
Stefan Eriksson, Sweden's amabassador to Belarus, and President Alexander Lukasjenko. Photo: Scanpix.

The diplomatic row between Sweden and Belarus escalated on Wednesday as Belarus announced its embassy in Stockholm will close and that all the Swedish diplomats in Belarus will have to leave the country before the end of the month.

Last week, Stefan Eriksson, Sweden ambassador in Minsk, was told he is no longer welcome in the country, after he was was accused by the regime of contacts with the opposition. In response, Sweden stopped the new Belarus ambassador from taking his post in Sweden.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Swedish Radio news in Wednesday: "I am sure they would have preferred that we quietly accepted that they threw out our ambassador, but that is not the way to treat Sweden."

Bildt added that he is concerned about the human rights situation in the country. "The development in Belarus is going in the wrong direction. they have not released the prisoners like they promised and we are getting indications that they are arresting new people," he told Swedish Radio News.

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