Belarus Closes Its Consulate General in New York City

In accordance with a decree of the Belarus’s Cabinet of Ministers signed by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, the Consulate General of the Republic of Belarus in New York City has closed on Wednesday, BelTA reports.

In line with the Resolution No. 590 of 18 October 2021, the Consulate General will close on October 20 2021 with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs authorized to cover the organizational and financial aspects of the closure.

The corresponding document of the decision that came into force on the day of its official publication, was published on the national legal web portal on Wednesday. After the Consulate General closes, Belarusian citizens living in the consular district, including Canada, will be able to apply for any assistance necessary to the Belarus Embassy in Washington.

The access to the consulate has ceased after October 15, but the diplomatic mission stopped answering the phone and accepting and processing documents sent by mail since October 8, transferring them to the embassy.

According to the Belarus Foreign Ministry’s previous announcement, the closure comes at the request of the American side after the relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply in the summer of 2020. It also expressed regrets over Washington’s demand.

Previously in August, the Foreign Ministry revoked the previously issued consent to appoint Julie Fisher as US Ambassador to Minsk though Fisher has never been allowed to enter Belarus and had to work in Vilnius due to the Foreign Ministry’s refusal to grant her visa.

The Ministry has also demanded Washington to reduce its diplomatic presence in Minsk to five persons by September 1, after which six US diplomats left Belarus on August 31.

The US government issued a sharply negative assessment after the suppression of prosthetic actions against the background of the presidential election in Belarus and the US Department of the Treasury issued the largest round of sanctions to date against Belarusian individuals and entities on the anniversary of the Belarusian election of 9 August 2020.

On top of that, President Biden signed an Executive Order imposing further consequences upon Belarus president Lukashenka and his regime.

There has been no American ambassador to Belarus since 2008 and the missions of the two countries were headed by temporary attorneys after recalling the ambassadors following the sanctions imposed on Minsk.

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