Estonia, Latvia recall ambassadors to Belarus

Estonia and Latvia on Wednesday said they were recalling their ambassadors from Belarus, following similar action by Poland and Lithuania as part of a political crisis after a disputed August 9 election.

“Estonia sees Belarus pressuring Lithuania and Poland as unjustified and regrettable,” said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

“As a sign of protest against the steps taken by Belarus we have decided to recall our ambassador from Belarus to Tallinn for consultations,” he said.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Twitter that his country was doing the same “in solidarity with its European Union colleagues”.

Lithuania and Poland, both EU and NATO members bordering Belarus, announced on Monday that they were recalling their ambassadors.

The move came after Minsk recalled its ambassadors to Vilnius and Warsaw in the wake of EU sanctions against Belarusian officials accused of election fraud and human rights abuses.

Belarus has also urged Lithuania and Poland to reduce the number of their diplomats stationed in the country.

All three Baltic countries have refused to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the president of Belarus and placed him, together with other Belarus officials, on a visa ban list.