Belarusian dictator threatens Sweden and Lithuania (Video)
15:35, — Politics
At the same time he confuses the reasons for the diplomatic row with Sweden.
The diplomatic conflict with Sweden and the incident with the flight of a Swedish plane over Belarus have no links, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said to journalists during his visit to the Hrodna region.
“Some people link this problem to either to teddy bears or elephants. These are absolutely different matters,” Lukashenka stressed.
According to him, Belarus and Sweden agreed earlier to exchange new ambassadors, but these agreements were broken by Sweden that resulted in the current diplomatic row.
“We agreed with the help of the MFA, Fule [Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy] and Bildt [Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister – Interfax] that we would solve this issue calmly: they would send us their new ambassador and we would send them ours. They accredited him without problems,” he said.
“Time passed, accreditation [of Swedish ambassador to Minsk Stefan Eriksson] expired. We reminded about the arrangements that we would not renew accreditation for him,” the dictator told the backstory of the conflict.
The dictator noted ambassador Eriksson had worked in Belarus for seven years, though the usual term in office for an ambassador is three years. “It happens sometimes. It is a matter of arrangements between countries that accreditation can be renewed,” Interfax news agency cites Lukashenka.
He said that about a year ago, “the foreign minister and other officials reported to me we cannot extend accreditation for this ambassador due to his activity”. “We saw it. I don't mention he was at the head of our 'fifth column', learned our language and the history of the Belarusian people. He will have more time for this now. The point is that he destroyed everything positive in the relations between Belarus and Sweden,” Alyaksandr Lukashenka said.
According to him, it was his personal decision not to strip Eriksson of his accreditation and allow him to work until spring 2010. “They [Sweden – Interfax] will send us a new ambassador without scandals and we will try to start relations from scratch,” Lukashenka said underlining the ambassador stayed in the country in fact illegally after his accreditation had expired. “In breach of the agreements and with an aim to create a conflict, he did not leave the country and lived here illegally for several more months,” Lukashenka continued. The dictator added Belarus reminded Sweden about the arrangement and a desire to see a new ambassador in the country: “They stirred up a scandal: not only your ambassador is banned from staying in Sweden.”
As for the incident with the Swedish plane in Belarus, Lukashenka said: “This is another topic. It demands Sweden and Lithuania to give answers in accordance with the international standards. We are settling this issue now. If there are no answers in compliance with international norms, we will find an appropriate response to the teddy bear incident.”
“They should thank God our tolerant Belarusians spared the lives of these pilots,” the Belarusian dictator noted. “The plane were detected right over the border. They were too kind to this poor plane. As a result, we have a scandal. But it was a breach of all agreements.”
“What concerns Lithuania, don't be as quiet as a mouse. They [Lithuania] must answer why they gave their territory to violate the state border. Lithuania won't find it funny,” Lukashenka stressed.
The dictator also said: “When we began an investigation (the ambassador can stop saying he is protecting democracy here), we found out those who had came here to prepare a violation of the state border had contacts with the embassy. We have evidence. Investigators showed it.” “We will figure out what role the former Swedish embassy had in the incident,” he added.
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