Polish Ambassador Artur Michalski and Lithuanian Ambassador Andrius Pulokas left Belarus on 5 October. German Ambassador Manfred Huterer is to leave the country today, he has been recalled for consultations in Berlin, TUT.BY reports.
The withdrawing of the ambassadors to their capitals for consultations is the consequence of the diplomatic scandal that erupted on 2 October, when the Belarusian Foreign Ministry demanded that the embassies of Poland and Lithuania reduce the number of diplomats working in Belarus.
It was also reported there that the ambassadors of Belarus in Poland and Lithuania have been recalled to Minsk for consultations since 5 October, and suggested that Warsaw and Vilnius follow this example. Lithuania and Poland immediately stated that they did not intend to recall their ambassadors to Belarus for consultations.
However, on 5 October, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius announced the recall of his ambassador to Belarus for consultations. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau made the same statement shortly afterwards.
Rau said on his Twitter account that “we’ve made a joint decision to recall for consultations some of the ambassadors accredited to Belarus. I’d like to thank all EU partners for an unequivocal expression of solidarity with Poland and Lithuanis. Support for Belarusians and their efforts”.
2/2 to democratize the country remains a priority to us. We need communication channels open to stand by those who fight for an independent, sovereign and democratic Belarus. All attempts to stigmatize any EU MS state will be met with a straightforward, reciprocal response.
— Zbigniew Rau (@RauZbigniew) October 5, 2020
The EU Delegation in Minsk also commented on the situation.
“The European Union is built on solidarity. Globally, the Union speaks one voice. The demand of the Belarusian authorities that Poland and Lithuania significantly reduce their diplomatic presence in Minsk is regrettable and counterproductive. Lithuania and Poland have been forced to recall their ambassadors for consultations.
Such attempts to target individual Member States will not succeed in weakening our unity. All EU Member States call on the Belarusian authorities to end violence and repression, release all detained peaceful protesters and political prisoners, respect media freedom and civil society, and start an inclusive national dialogue with a view to ensure an sovereign, independent, democratic and prosperous future of Belarus,” reads the statement.