Belarus Tells the U.S. to Reduce Embassy Staff in Response to Sanctions

Belarus considers Washington’s latest sanctions levied against President Alexander Lukashenko’s inner circle “unfriendly and even aggressive” and ordered on Wednesday a reduction to the United States embassy staff in Minsk.

Minsk BelarusBelarus considers Washington’s latest sanctions levied against President Alexander Lukashenko’s inner circle “unfriendly and even aggressive” and ordered a reduction to the United States embassy staff in Minsk. (Photo: Vadim Sazanovich, Wikimedia, License)In an interview published also at the Foreign Ministry website, spokesperson Anatoly Glaz told Russian state-owned RIA Novosti that the U.S. will have until September 1st to reduce its embassy staff to five people and that Belarus has revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as U.S. ambassador.

The U.S. imposed on Monday sanctions on a number of Belarus officials, businesspeople and entities considered close to President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime for its corruption and violation of human rights.

In a separate official statement on the sanctions, the Belarusian ministry said it "strongly condemns the unilateral coercive measures against the Republic of Belarus adopted by the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Canada on August 9, 2021.”

It described the sanctions as “cold war methods” and accused the West of "negligently ignoring the results of the will of the Belarusian people.” This is in contrast to the position held by many in the international community, as well as the Belarusian public and political opposition, who view Lukashenko’s election win last year as fraudulent.