The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus announced that only the ambassador and four staff members would now work at the Embassy of Ukraine in Minsk. Ukraine’s consulate in Brest will be completely closed. Twelve Ukrainian diplomats were given 72 hours to leave Belarus.
Anatoliy Glaz, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, explains this decision by “numerous unfriendly actions of Ukraine” and alleged interference in the internal affairs of Belarus. In particular, he mentioned Ukraine’s closure of the sky due to the detention of Raman Pratasevich, co-founder of Belarusian opposition Telegram channels.
The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus also claims that a number of employees of Ukraine’s consulate and embassy are allegedly engaged in activities incompatible with diplomatic status. And all this, according to Alexander Lukashenka, was done towards Belarus, “which has not taken a single anti-Ukrainian step even in the most difficult time.”
Oleh Nikolenko, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, commented, “In continuation of yesterday’s provocation in the media, today the Belarusian side announced the reduction in staff of Ukraine’s embassy in Minsk and the closure of Ukraine’s consulate in Brest. We consider such actions of Belarus as another unprovoked unfriendly step towards Ukraine. Our country will not leave the actions of Belarus without a proper response, which we will announce later.”