‘For consultations’: Envoys of Latvia and Estonia to leave Belarus

In the coming days, Latvian Ambassador to Belarus Einars Semanis is to leave Minsk for Riga; his Estonian counterpart Merike Kokajev is expected to arrive in Tallinn.

In such a way, the two countries express solidarity with Poland and Lithuania. Last week, the Belarusian authorities demanded that Warsaw and Vilnius recall their ambassadors for consultations and cut the staff of their diplomatic missions in Minsk.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed that the Latvian ambassador had been called for consultations. According to him, such step was taken as part of European solidarity action.

In Estonia’s view, the act of pressurising by Belarus towards Lithuania and Poland is ‘unjustified and regrettable’, err.ee quotes Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu.

Belarusian Foreign Ministry insists on staff cuts in Polish and Lithuanian embassies

On October 5, Artur Michalski and Andrius Pulokas, ambassadors of Poland and Lithuania, left the Belarusian capital. A day later, Berlin also recalled its envoy for consultations.

Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the demands of the Belarusian authorities were ‘unfounded and regrettable’. In his opinion, the demand goes against the logic of dialogue and will only further isolate the authorities in Minsk.

Being a sign of tension in bilateral relations, recalling the ambassador for consultations is indicative of the dissatisfaction with the actions of the host country. As a rule, it is time-limited. A stronger message is the recall of an ambassador to the country for an indefinite period of time and bringing the diplomatic relations down to the level of charge d’affaires.

Earlier, the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus stated they were ‘constantly monitoring the situation and reacting in a proper way’. EU envoy Dirk Schuebel continues to stay in Minsk so that the ‘communication channels’ between the bloc and Belarus remain, the press service says.

‘Communication channels’. Head of EU Delegation continues to stay in Belarus