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Sanctions order US to reduce diplomatic presence in Belarus – international

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the Belarusian government had ordered a reduction in its diplomatic presence in the United States in response to new sanctions imposed by Washington.

“We propose on the US side to reduce the number of US embassy staff to five by September 1,” ministry spokeswoman Anatoly Glass said in a statement condemning the US “apparent hostility”.

The United States on Monday (10) tightened its sanctions and extended them to other sectors of the Belarusian economy, a year after the repression of the unprecedented protest movement following the criticized presidential election and election results in Belarus.

According to U.S. officials, this could affect the long list of employees, targeting companies and entrepreneurs who are “part of the government.”

“At a time when Washington wants to reduce cooperation at all levels and suffocate the country economically, we do not see any point in a significant presence of US mission,” Klaus said.

Belarus has revoked the recognition of Julie Fisher as US Ambassador to the country. The diplomat was appointed at the beginning of the year, but was unable to accept the post.

Minsk did not elaborate on how many staff currently work at the US embassy.

U.S. diplomatic spokesman Netflix responded that his officials in Fischer and Minsk “will continue to support the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people” and blamed the country’s authorities for the “deterioration of relations.”

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, denied on Monday that there was a repression in the country and accused his critics of “conspiracy”.

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