UK and Belarus (and Russia of course)


War Hero
This is quite a significant step forward, even if tiny in scale, because it involves Belarus once again thumbing its nose at Moscow and saying we will do our own thing, thank you; which will add to the list of things the Russians have to be upset about.

Video in link shows a small number of blokes from 42 Commando having a love-in with Belarus's 103rd Vitebsk Guards Independent Airborne Assault Brigade peacekeeping company. (It was supposed to be "cold weather training" for the booties, but Belarus is currently experiencing a severe shortage of cold weather - it's warmer than the UK this week.) More from our side here:

The caption says the speaker is the DA in Minsk. He provides pleasantries in pretty decent Russian (good accent but sometimes the wrong word and occasionally completely random grammar): "latest stage in our joint cooperation... you have your partners and we have ours... your ranges are very different to ours" etc.

Diplomacy, or lack of it. I wonder if Lukashenko will notice (or care)?

'The UK’s foreign and defence secretaries have reacted angrily to the expulsion of two British diplomats from strife-torn Belarus. The eastern European nation has experienced mass protests since Alexander Lukashenko declared himself the winner of elections that have been widely disputed.

'Dominic Raab tweeted: “The expulsion of 2 UK diplomats from Belarus for legitimately observing protests is wholly unjustified. Lukashenko can’t hide the oppression of his own people.

“The only way forward is free & fair elections & accountability for those responsible for violence against demonstrators.”

Raab later said: “As independent reports show, this is part of a concerted campaign of harassment aimed at activists, media and now diplomats.

“Instead of trying to bully those shining a light on his repression, Mr Lukashenko must agree to free and fair elections and enable those responsible for violence against demonstrators to be held to account.”

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, said: “The expulsion of the UK defence attache based on fabricated and misleading accusations is a flagrant attempt to divert attention from the growing oppression to free speech and freedoms inside Belarus by the Lukashenko regime.”

'The comments came after the UK called for a fresh presidential election in Belarus following the “despicable” actions of Lukashenko.

'In recent days Raab highlighted findings by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which he said “exposed the fraud at the heart of the presidential elections” in August.

'The UK has already imposed sanctions on Lukashenko and his allies following the election and the brutal crackdown on protests.

'The Foreign Office said the OSCE report found overwhelming evidence that the elections were falsified and of “massive and systematic” human rights abuses.'



War Hero
He has. Tim Wight-Boycott the DA and Lisa Thumwood the Deputy Head of Mission. I wonder if getting rid of the DA - whom the Belarus MoD seemed to love to bits - was a request from Moscow.

What's good for the goose ...

'Two Belarusian diplomats have been expelled from the UK today in response to the unjustified expulsion of two British diplomats from Belarus earlier this week.'


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