Brussels replied to Minsk: Dictator burns his last ships
"The European Union in token of solidarity will recall their ambassadors from Belarus", head of the European diplomacy Catherine Ashton said on Tuesday's late afternoon.
The decision was made after the urgent meeting, which Catherine Ashton convened in Brussels, after the official Minsk proposed the ambassadors of Poland and the EU in Minsk drive off to their home countries for consultations.
Earlier, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Brussels that Berlin will withdraw its ambassador from Minsk, as the "measures against the EU and Poland are also measures against Germany".
Polish Foreign Ministry called the steps of Minsk "unfriendly" and the Office of President Bronislaw Komorowski informed that the president "perceived the information on this incomprehensible decision with regret", Radio Liberty informs.
"More and more, Lukashenko falls into despair. And now it can be seen very well. Recalling of the EU and Poland ambassadors is the move that will face the response of the entire European Union. Dictator starts to burns his last ships, but it does not mean, he will end well", Polish media quote the words of the chairman of Sweden foreign office Carl Bildt.
According to Foreign Minister of Lithuania Audronis Ažubalis, the decision of Lukashenko to withdraw the ambassadors of the EU and Poland is a big mistake. "It is unfortunate that he did so. This is simple step, because the withdrawal of ambassadors, who are the most important figures in the dialogue - is a clear evidence that he doesn't want to conduct this dialogue anymore", Euroradio quotes the diplomat.
Belarusian politicians consider the decision of the official Minsk "stupid" and "irrational".
"This is a political mistake, which has disastrous consequences for Belarus. Confrontation with the EU threatens the independence of Belarus, deepens its dependence on Russia. Step of the authorities is completely irrational, especially since the EU has shown its inability to introduce stronger sanctions. In addition, by imposing sanctions against 21 official, and not 135, as it was planned, the EU make great concessions to the regime. Therefore, it is simply irrational", the co-chairman of BCD party Vital Rymashevsky said.
"The statement looks like an official declaration of war against the West. Question arises: Can the country going through the deep financial and economic crisis afford itself such a luxury? Definitely not", the chairman of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka said in an interview to UDF.BY.
According to the politician, any complication of relations with Europe for Belarus is fraught with serious economic and financial implications.
"I think after this, even Latvia, which, together with Netherlands last year bought from Belarus solvents for $ 1.7 billion, in the foreseeable may refuse to cooperate", he said.
Chairman of the Party "A Just World" Sergei Kalyakin is sure, Belarusian authorities have made "the greatest foreign-policy mistake" in the past few years. According to him, the reaction of Minsk on the decision, adopted by the EU Council on February 27, is "absolutely not an adequate response", but rather creates additional long-term problems for Belarus, its people, as well as for Belarusian authorities which will "face these problems in the near future".
"Let the Belarusian MFA takes slingshots and begins to shoot in the direction of Warsaw, in the direction of the European Union. This will be an adequate response from the series made today. They can also pick up a whistle, come to the border and start whistling - also the very appropriate response that accurately convey the level of our diplomacy", the leader of Belarusian leftists commented on Tuesday's move of Belarusian authorities.
The politician believes that retaliatory measures of Europe will seriously impact on many aspects of Belarusians' life and - consequently - on the level of people's support of the Belarusian government.
"The authorities are actively digging a hole for themselves, by a hefty bucket. And I wish them every success in this way", Sergei Kalyakin said in an interview to UDF.BY.