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diplomatic dispute

USA "stands with Sweden" on Belarus

Published torsdag 9 augusti 2012 kl 08.40
Analysis of Sweden-Belarus diplomatic crisis
(4:44 min)
The US has poor relations with Belarus, and its Minsk embassy was closed in 2008

The USA has expressed support for Sweden, as Belarus expells the Swedish ambassador and calls back its own embassy from Stockholm.

A spokesman for the US state department, Patrick Ventrell, says that "The United States is deeply concerned about recent events in Belarus, including the decision of the Belarusian government to expel the Swedish ambassador and force Sweden to recall its entire diplomatic staff in Minsk." 

In the statement, published on the US State Dempartment website, he adds that the USA "stands with Sweden", to "support the aspirations of the people of Belarus".

On Friday Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt said that Belarus had expelled the Swedish ambassador, Stefan Eriksson. The reason was reported by Bildt to be Eriksson's contacts with the Belarus opposition. The Belarus authorities say they have decided not to renew Eriksson's accreditation because his activities were harming Swedish-Belarus relations.

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