News / Europe

EU Pulls Ambassadors Out of Belarus

The Head of EU Delegation to Belarus, Ambassador Maira Mora walks in central Minsk, February 28, 2012
The Head of EU Delegation to Belarus, Ambassador Maira Mora walks in central Minsk, February 28, 2012

European Union members are pulling all their ambassadors from Belarus after its the authoritarian government ordered the Polish and EU ambassadors out of the country.

Belarus ordered the envoys to leave in reaction to new EU sanctions imposed against Belarusian officials because of that country's poor human rights record.

A Belarusian foreign ministry spokesman says the country will not cave in under pressure and will continue to defend its interests.

"The decision of the EU Council to impose new sanctions against Belarussian officials means that the European Union is continuing with its policy of unabashed pressure," said the spokesman. "We explained many times and at all levels that
this policy does not have any prospects in regards to Republic of Belarus. As a response, Belarus will forbid entry to Belarus to those individuals who helped introduce those restricting measures.''

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle calls Belarus Europe's last dictatorship. He says President Alexander Lukashenko only fools himself if he thinks he can divide the EU.

"This is the last dictatorship, this is the last dictator in Europe, and we will not let ourselves be intimidated by such actions against one European institutions or against one member state," said Westerwelle. "The European Union and Poland can rely on Germany's solidarity. We will not let others divide us. The dictator fools himself when he thinks he can divide us. We will react together. I suggest that we all recall our ambassadors from Belarus to our capitals. This is what Germany will do.''

State Department spokesman Mark Toner says the United States it deeply regrets Belarus' decision to expel the Polish and EU ambassadors. He says such moves only deepen Belarus' self-isolation.

The EU and United States increased sanctions on Belarus after the violent crackdown on the opposition following the December 2010 presidential election. Hundreds were arrested including a number of opposition candidates.

Human rights groups say many of those arrested are still in jail.

Lukashenko won reelection in a vote many opposition members say was fraudulent.

The head of the EU delegation to Belarus and the ambassador of Poland to Belarus have also been offered to leave to their capitals to bring the message to their leadership about a strong view in Belarus that any pressure
or sanctions are inadmissible. If the pressure on Republic of Belarus is to continue, other measures to defend our interests will also be taken.''

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs