Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Carl Bildt: Swedish government neither permitted nor prohibited bear bombing

Nasha Niva

The Swedish FM repeated once again official Stockholm is not linked to the incident of July 4.

Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt claims Swedens’ government has no link to the "bear bombing" performed by two Swedish citizens on July 4. On that day, Thomas Mazetti and Hannah Lina Frey piloted light aircraft from Lithuania to Belarus with no permission from Belarusian side, parachuted around 1,000 teddy bears with pro-democracy slogans on Ivianiec and Minsk and then returned to Lithuania.

"We have nothing to do with this, we neither permitted nor prohibited anything." "As I understand, an independent legal investigation is conducted. I leave this to the law enforcement bodies — this is the way our countries choose," the Minister said.

Initially, Belarus rejected the bear drop incident, however the arrests of photographer Anton Surapin who was first to upload the photos of parachuted plush toys on the WWW and realtor Siarhiej Basharymau who is said to rent out a flat for Swedes.

The diplomatic row between Belarus and Sweden broke out after Belarusian authorities did not extend the accreditation of Ambassador Stefan Eriksson.

Eriksson was accused of sabotage. As a response, Swedish authorities told they will not allow the new Belarusian ambassador and also annulled residence permits for two Belarusian diplomats.

On August 8, Belarus announced recalling all embassy employees from Stockholm. Both embassies halted all activities on August 20.