Brussels, Oct 4 (efe-epa).- The European Union on Sunday said Belarus’ demand for Lithuania and Poland to reduce their embassy staff numbers in Minsk was “unfounded and regrettable.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticized the move in a statement.
“It goes against the logic of dialogue and will only further isolate the authorities in Minsk.”
“Attempts by the Belarusian authorities to target certain EU Member States will not succeed in weakening EU unity,” Borrell said.
Adding that it “was clearly reaffirmed by the European Council on 1 October when all EU Member States called on the Belarusian authorities to end violence and repression, release all detainees and political prisoners, respect media freedom and civil society, and start an inclusive national dialogue.”
During the meeting, EU heads of state and government agreed to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials for their involvement in the violent repression of peaceful protests against Alexander Lukanshenko.
The long-serving president, in power since 1994, was left off the sanction list.
The EU does not consider Lukashenko’s presidential election victory back in August to be legitimate.
According to Belarus’ electoral committee, the hardline ruler took 80 percent of the national vote.
Belarus’ opposition which has swelled with popular support in recent months, and the EU, believe the elections were rigged.