Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus08 August 2012
The reasons behind the decision of the Belarusian Side not to renew the accreditation to the former Ambassador of Sweden to Belarus Mr. Stefan Eriksson are clear and require no additional comment. Given the concurrent recall to Minsk of Ambassador of Belarus to Sweden Mr. Andrei Grinkevich, the Belarusian Side regarded the conflict to have been resolved, and was ready for mutual efforts to reshape the constructive elements of mutual relations. Another proof of that are earlier efforts of the Belarusian Side to prevent turning the situation into a conflict.
Regrettably, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden preferred to aggravate the situation and took an additional decision to expel from the country two senior diplomats of the Embassy of Belarus, including the Chargé d’Affaires, and to deny entry to Sweden for the new Ambassador of Belarus, who had received the agrément of the Government of Sweden.
As a result, the diplomatic staff of the Belarusian Embassy in Stockholm were reduced to two junior diplomats, who do not have sufficient authority or qualifications to run the mission.
These actions of the Swedish Side are aimed at seriously restricting the representation of the Republic of Belarus in Sweden and the possibility to adequately protect the interests of the Belarusian citizens, to offer services to the citizens of Sweden, as well as of Norway and Denmark, where the Embassy is accredited concurrently.
Such circumstances make it impossible for the mission to maintain its normal functions, including those stipulated in Article 3 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
In this regard the Belarusian Side is compelled to take a decision to recall its Embassy in Sweden and to return its entire staff to the Republic of Belarus. Appropriate action is already being taken.
Simultaneously, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, stipulated inter alia in Article 2 of the Vienna Convention, the Swedish Side is offered to recall its Embassy from the Republic of Belarus before August 30, 2012.
The Belarusian Side proceeds from the understanding that the entire staff of the Swedish Embassy will lose their status from that date.
The Belarusian Side specifically underlines that the context of these measures does not presuppose the rupture of diplomatic relations.
Restoration of the previous level of bilateral relations, with direct diplomatic presence in the capitals of the two states, is only possible if the Swedish Side, through dialog with Belarus, reverts to observing the internationally recognized principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality of the states, and promotion of friendly relations.
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