Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

USA "deeply concerned" about Swedish ambassador's expulsion from Minsk

The United States is "deeply concerned" about the decision of the Belarusian government to expel the Swedish ambassador and force Sweden to recall its entire diplomatic staff in Minsk, Patrick Ventrell, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, told reporters in Washington on August 8.

"These actions, like the expulsion of the US ambassador to Belarus in 2008, only serve to deepen Belarus’ self-isolation," he said.

"The United States stands with Sweden and our European partners in supporting the aspirations of the people of Belarus for a modern, democratic and prosperous future," Mr. Ventrell said. "We again call on Belarus to immediately release and rehabilitate all political prisoners, and to put an end to the repression of civil society and the democratic opposition."