Lithuania is recalling its ambassador Andrius Pulokas from Minsk for consultations, the Foreign Ministry said late on Monday, as tensions with the neighbouring country escalate over Vilnius’ support for opposition protests.
“Our goal is to preserve diplomatic contacts as much as possible. We have also sent this message to Belarus, with which it has been agreed for the meantime that the temporary recall of ambassadors would help reduce tensions and maintain diplomatic representation at the level of ambassadors,” Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said in a press release, adding that Poland is also recalling its ambassador from Belarus.
Last Friday, the Foreign Ministry of Belarus demanded that Poland and Lithuania reduce diplomatic staff at their embassies in Minsk, accusing the two countries of “destructive” activities. It has also recalled its ambassadors from Vilnius and Warsaw for consultations.
The Lithuanian ministry said it was coordinating all its actions with Poland and other EU member states.
According to Linkevičius, “intensive consultations” are ongoing over reducing diplomatic staff in Lithuanian and Polish embassies, as demanded by Minsk.
Lithuania’s foreign minister discussed the matter by phone with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as well as with his Polish and German counterparts Zbigniew Rau and Heiko Maas.
EU ambassadors to Minsk are discussing the situation as well, he said.