Belarus Asks US to Cut Staff Amid Sanctions Row

Belarus on Wednesday revoked its permission for the United States ambassador’s appointment and ordered the embassy in Minsk to reduce its staff. 

The move came after Washington imposed a new round of sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime earlier this week.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz said Belarus wants “to reduce the number of staff” in the U.S. embassy in Minsk “to five people by September 1.”

“Against the backdrop of Washington’s actions to reduce cooperation in all spheres and to economically strangle our country, we quite objectively don’t see any sense in the presence of such significant personnel,” Glaz said.

“Taking into account that Belarus has lost trust in the current U.S. administration, we suspend cooperation in all new projects, grants, and programs coordinated by the U.S. government until such trust is back,” he added.

Minsk consented to Julie Fisher’s appointment as the United States ambassador to Belarus in December. 

On the other hand, Fisher remained in Lithuania, where she maintains touch with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya because Belarus never granted her a visa.

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