UK kicks out two Belarus officials in tit-for-tat move

UK kicks out two Belarus officials in tit-for-tat move after British diplomats are expelled for ‘legitimate observation’ of pro-democracy protests

The UK today kicked out two Belarus diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to the ejection of two UK envoys by the former Soviet bloc state.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the move after the British diplomats, including a defence attache, were ordered home from the capital, Minsk.

The Foreign Office said the pair had been engaged in the ‘legitimate observation’ of protests demanding the removal of President Alexander Lukashenko following his disputed re-election.

Britain has already imposed sanctions on Mr Lukashenko and his allies and called for a re-run of the August poll.

The Foreign Office said the UK pair had been engaged in the ‘legitimate observation’ of protests (pictured, Minsk this weekend) demanding the removal of President Alexander Lukashenko following his disputed re-election


Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured right) announced the move after after the British diplomats, including a defence attache, were ordered home from the capital. Britain has already imposed sanctions on Mr Lukashenko (pictured left) and his allies and called for a re-run of the August poll

There have been widespread claims of vote-rigging and a brutal crackdown on demonstrators by the authorities.

Mr Raab said in a statement: ‘We have sent a clear message today to Lukashenko’s regime that their unjustified expulsion of British diplomats has consequences.

‘The UK will continue to hold the Belarusian authorities to account for the rigged election in August and their ongoing use of violence to suppress the Belarusian people.’

Belarusian ambassador Maxim Yermalovich was summoned to the FCDO on Tuesday afternoon to be informed of the decision.

Officials said it was a ‘proportionate and appropriate’ response to the ejection of the British diplomats

There have been widespread claims of vote-rigging and a brutal crackdown on demonstrators by the authorities. Pictured, a protester is detained in Minsk at the weekend

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