Belarus criticizes EU decision to pull envoys
MINSK, Belarus - The Associated Press
A couple walks past the Polish embassy in Minsk, on February 29, 2012. Belarus suggested yesterday to the envoys from Poland and the EU that they should depart Minsk for their capitals and threatened "other measures to protect our interests". AFP PHOTO / VICTOR DRACHEVThe Belarusian Foreign Ministry says the European Union's decision to recall all its ambassadors from the ex-Soviet nation is a "path into a deadlock." The ministry said in Wednesday's statement that the move indicated that the EU has chosen the path of "escalation of tensions." It warns the EU that such "scare tactics" won't work and called for a dialogue based on mutual respect.
The EU announced the move late Tuesday in response to Belarus asking the EU and Polish ambassadors to leave. The tit-for-tat moves followed the latest EU sanctions on Belarus over repression of the political opposition.
Authoritarian President Alexandert Lukashenko has led Belarus since 1994, retaining Soviet-style controls over the economy and cracking down on opposition and independent media.