In the wake of the newly imposed US sanctions on Belarus at the beginning of the week, Minsk has decided to take on retaliatory measures blocking the US Ambassador Julie Fisher from entering its country on Wednesday and asking the US Embassy in Minsk to Reduce staff to five members by September 1, Politico reports.
Belarus accepted Fisher’s appointment in December and she was set to become the first U.S. ambassador to Belarus since 2008, but she was never issued an entry visa and was instead based in Lithuania.
Belarusian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anatoly Glaz pointed out that Belarus was forced impose the measures by US’ arrogant and openly hostile steps as well as the actions of some US representatives, underlining that Belarus has lost trust in Biden’s administration.
He said that due to Washington’s actions to halt cooperation with Belarus in all spheres, Minsk sees no need for a significant number of diplomats to be present at the US diplomatic mission.
The US embassy in Minsk responding to the request, blaming the Belarus regime for the deterioration relations with the US by threats and limiting of space dialogue but noted it will continue to engage with Belarusians in every sphere of social and political living.
The US State Department set a same tone in responding to the new measures, blaming the eastern European country’s leadership for deteriorating its relationship with the US through relentless repression against their citizens.
The statement noted that the US government, the ambassador Fisher and the embassy staff in Minsk will continue to support the democratic aspirations of the Belarus people.