MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) – Belarus is ready for Latvia's symmetrical response to diplomatic expulsion, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Latvian Ambassador to Belarus Einars Semanis over the incident with the Belarusian state flag in Riga, BelTA has learned.
The ambassador has been asked to leave Belarus within 24 hours. The diplomatic and administrative staff of the embassy have been asked to leave Minsk within 48 hours. Only one employee will remain in Minsk to care for the building.
"For sure, Latvia will respond symmetrically. We are ready for that. At this stage, in this situation, we do not see any opportunity to work with the current diplomatic mission," said Vladimir Makei.
These days the Latvian capital of Riga is hosting the IIHF World Championships and has the flags of the participating countries raised in the city center. Today, Mayor of Riga Martins Stakis and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics replaced the Belarusian state flag with the white-red-white flag. "We cannot leave such provocative actions unanswered," the Belarusian minister of foreign affairs stressed.