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France's ambassador is leaving Belarus in Minsk at the request of the government


France's Ambassador Nicolas de Lacoste has left Belarus. A spokeswoman gave no reasons. But he left a video message to the Belarusian people, which will be played on Monday.

Enlarge image

Lukashenko: According to media reports, Belarus' president never met with de Lacoste (archive image)


Nikolay Petrov / dpa

The French ambassador to authoritarian Belarus left the country on Sunday at the request of the government in Minsk.

"The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has requested that the ambassador leave before October 18," a spokeswoman for the embassy in Minsk told the AFP news agency.

"Ambassador Nicolas de Lacoste left Belarus today." The spokeswoman gave no information about the reasons for the request.

According to media reports, de Lacoste never met the Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko to present him with his credentials as the diplomatic representative of his country.

Like other EU countries, France does not recognize Lukashenko's victory in the presidential election in August last year, in which, according to his own account, he was re-elected for a sixth term.

According to the embassy spokeswoman, de Lacoste left a video message to the Belarusian people.

This should be published on Monday on the embassy website.

Relations with Belarus are on the agenda at the meeting of EU foreign ministers, which starts on Monday in Luxembourg.

Tensions between the EU and Belarus have increased significantly in recent months.

The EU accuses Lukashenko of deliberately smuggling migrants from the Middle East across the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland into the EU in order to avenge himself for European sanctions decisions.

Lukashenko has been ruling Belarus with a hard hand for almost 30 years.

In view of the increasingly ruthless behavior of its authorities against the opposition, the country is now largely isolated internationally.

All of the country's leading opposition politicians have either been imprisoned or have fled the country.

kim / AFP

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-10-17

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