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20 July 2021, 14:13

Lukashenko orders to cut Belarus' diplomatic presence in Europe

MINSK, 20 July (BelTA) – The staffing of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad should be overhauled, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss Belarus' current foreign policy priorities on 20 July, BelTA has learned.

Addressing Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko, the Belarusian head of state noted: “We should carefully examine the work of our diplomatic missions in Europe. Being a former diplomat [Roman Golovchenko], you know this firsthand and I often tell you about it. Listen, why do we need a lot of diplomats in the countries with which we don't trade at all and with which political relations, diplomacy are non-existent, and even detrimental to our state,” the president said.

“If we need an ambassador and an assistant, well, keep them there, rent them a two-room apartment and let them work. If things get off the ground [cooperation], we will send more people there. We need to be pragmatic in this matter,” the Belarusian leader said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the optimization of Belarusian diplomatic missions has recently begun, but this process is making little headway. “Why are we swaggering and trying to inflate these diplomatic missions? We have recently launched this process, but it is rather slack, as if someone wants to hold it back,” the Belarusian president said.

“Today it is important more than ever to work where we are welcome, where a serious groundwork has been created. By the way, unlike in the well-fed and comfortable Europe, the number of diplomats who went rogue is very small in the countries we have redirected our focus on. Indeed, the diplomats working there are busy doing their job, showing result instead of taking part in rallies and posting messages in destructive social media,” the head of state emphasized.

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