The proposals voiced by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry on the reduction of diplomats in the embassies of Poland and Lithuania are mandatory, the press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Anatoly Hlaz said in the commentary to BelTA.
“I don’t know, maybe due to the fact that Linas Linkevičius (Lithuanian Foreign Minister) has long gone headlong into politics, some diplomatic turns and terms have already been forgotten. It is not at all difficult for us to explain their meaning. The proposals we made are exclusively in the plane of the sovereign rights of Belarus and no one is obliged, and, in fact, was not going to discuss them with the Lithuanian side. If we move away from diplomatic casuistry, it means that such proposals are obligatory for the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said an official representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
According to Anatoly Hlaz, the corresponding order to reduce the number of diplomats applies to the Polish embassy in Belarus.
On October 2, it was announced that the official Minsk was recalling its ambassadors in Poland and Lithuania for consultations and inviting the ambassadors of these countries to do the same. Official Warsaw and Vilnius have announced that they are not going to recall their ambassadors or cut the number of diplomats in the missions.
The Belarusian side insists that Lithuania reduce the number of diplomats in Belarus from 25 to 14, and Poland from 50 to 18. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry calls the policy of Warsaw and Vilnius “destructive in the current situation”.
Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said that Lithuania regrets and disappoints the statements of the Belarusian side about the recall of the ambassador.
“This is an attack on the diplomatic services of Lithuania and Poland, such a proposal on Friday evening, (…) we will wait for the next steps. The decision to recall the ambassadors for consultation is taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. We have no such intentions,” Delfi quotes the minister.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau responded to the proposal of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry in his Twitter: “at this stage, we are not going to recall our ambassadors for consultations”.
The director of the Belsat TV channel Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy called the decision of the Belarusian authorities shameful. This step will only strengthen the isolation of Belarus from the whole world.
“The sharp reduction in the number of employees of the Polish Embassy in Belarus is a blow of the Belarusian authorities not so much to Poland, but, first of all, to Belarusians awaiting visas,” she said.