Poland expels two Belarusian diplomats in tit-for-tat move

Belarus and Poland
Belarus and Poland Source: eng.belta.by

dpa/GNA – Poland is set to expel two Belarusian diplomats, retaliation for a similar move by Belarus on Thursday, as tensions between the two countries bubble due to continuing demonstrations in Belarus.

“In view of continuing unfriendly gestures of Minsk towards Polish diplomats, in line with the reciprocity clause, the Polish Foreign Ministry has decided to expel the consul general of Belarus in Bialystok and a Belarusian consul from the Warsaw outpost,” Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter on Friday.

The move is the latest in a series of diplomat expulsions amid tensions between Warsaw and Minsk. Belarus claims Poland is funding and supporting opposition protests against ruler Alexander Lukashenko.

The most recent series of diplomatic tensions was triggered by a fight about a World War II commemorative event in February.

Belarus accused the head of the Polish consulate in the city of Brest of taking part in an illegal ceremony commemorating those who fell fighting the Soviet Union and communism. Belarus suffered great losses during the war and authorities there do not look kindly on the Soviet Union’s wartime role being called into question.

The Polish diplomat was forced to leave Belarus, whereupon Warsaw also declared a Belarusian diplomat unwelcome. Subsequently, the Belarusian authorities ordered two diplomats from Poland’s Grodno consulate to leave the country within 48 hours.

Bix Aliu, the US charge d’affaires at the Warsaw embassy condemned the expulsion of Polish diplomats.

“Belarus should keep its international commitments and duties on treating diplomats in line with the Vienna Convention,” Aliu wrote in a tweet on Friday.

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