Thirty-two Polish diplomats leave Belarus prompting visa issues

By October 9, 32 Polish diplomats have to leave Belarus. Visa centers in Poland and Lithuania do not accept documents for visas.

Diplomatic sources report that the Polish Foreign Ministry has decided to fulfill the requirements of the official Minsk, writes Gazeta Wyborcza.

The Belarusian side insists that Poland reduce the number of diplomats in Belarus from 50 to 18 people, and Lithuania — from 25 to 14. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry calls the policy of Warsaw and Vilnius “destructive in the current situation”.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei. Photo:

As a result of the diplomatic conflict initiated by the official Minsk, in the morning of October 8, it was reported that it was impossible to apply for a Polish or Lithuanian visa.

The Polish Consulate in Hrodna temporarily suspended its work. From October 7, it will be possible to get there only for very urgent matters.

Announcement at the entrance to the Consulate General of Poland in Hrodna. Photo: Belsat

Initially, Vilnius and Warsaw announced joint actions on the issue of the diplomatic conflict with Minsk. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said that he did not even intend to discuss the issue of reducing the number of personnel with the Belarusian side. In the end, Warsaw decided to meet the demands of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

According to Gazeta Wyborcza, the Polish Foreign Ministry does not intend to take any measures against Belarusian diplomats working in Poland.

In solidarity with the diplomatic missions of Poland and Lithuania, the ambassadors of Germany, Latvia and Estonia were recalled from Belarus for consultations.

Slovakia also plans to recall its ambassador from Belarus as a sign of solidarity with Lithuania and Poland. This was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia during a meeting with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Bratislava.