• Sweden edition
 

US 'with Sweden' in Belarus diplomacy spat

Published: 09 Aug 2012 08:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Aug 2012 08:09 GMT+02:00

The US State Department said it was "deeply concerned" about the recent events, with spokesman Patrick Ventrell saying such actions "only serve to deepen Belarus' self-isolation."

"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," Ventrell said in a statement.

"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."

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt last week said ambassador Stefan Eriksson, who took up the post in Minsk in 2008, was being expelled because of his pro-rights stance and meetings he had with the Belarus opposition.

Stockholm quickly retaliated, saying it would not welcome a new ambassador named by Minsk to replace the envoy who left the post several weeks ago, and withdrew residency permits for two Belarus diplomats.

On Wednesday, Minsk said in a statement it was "forced to take a decision to recall its diplomatic staff from Sweden and return its employees to Belarus," stressing however it was not severing diplomatic ties with Stockholm.

It gave Stockholm until August 30th to remove all of its diplomats from the ex-Soviet state the United States once dubbed Europe's last dictatorship.

The tit-for-tat came after Swedish PR firm Studio Total announced they had illegally flown a plane into Belarus in early July, dropping hundreds of teddy bears attached to parachutes and carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.

Belarus is under a raft of sanctions by the European Union over the plight of political prisoners in the country.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:33 August 9, 2012 by rise
"The tit-for-tat came after Swedish PR firm Studio Total announced they had illegally flown a plane into Belarus in early July, dropping hundreds of teddy bears attached to parachutes and carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights."

Beware of and don't underestimate the force of the cute little teddy bears! ;D

http://www.google.com/search?q=teddies&hl=sv&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=cIIjUNm6LcPl4QSM0IGQDw&ved=0CFsQsAQ&biw=1663&bih=1269
12:35 August 9, 2012 by RobinHood
On behalf of our dear leader, the President, I wish to remind you that there are no teddy bears, there is no country called Sweden, there is no EU and there are no opposition politicians in Belarus. We have no need for any of these things, and they do not exist, even if we did.

The president will (through me) issue further proclamations of things that do not exist, as and when he decides they do not exist. Remember, denying that things do not exist before the Dear Leader has proclaimed they do not exist is a crime inside and outside Belarus.

A list of things that do not exist is available at www.belarussecretpolice.be, and is updated hourly. An item's existance status can change at anytime. So please be aware that an item (such as a teddy bear) that did not exist in the morning, might actually exist in the afternoon, but not exist again by evening. If in doubt about an item's status (exist, or not exist?), please ask a Belarusian policeman. But not a policeman who was on duty on the night of the non-existant teddy bear raid, because those policemen do not exist, and that status will not be changed.
18:31 August 9, 2012 by OUIJA
The lead says: "The United States is deeply concerned about recent events in Belarus, including the decision of the Belarusian government to expel the Swedish ambassador and force Sweden to recall its entire diplomatic staff in Minsk. These actions, like the expulsion of the U.S. ambassador to Belarus in 2008, only serve to deepen Belarus' self-isolation.

I have a question: Is Sweden allowed to help the opposition in Belarus through its embassy? This, for me, means that Sweden is a lacay of the USA. Now, would Sweden allow a foreign country to help the Swedish Democrats from Jimmy Åkeson, to try to finish with the Swedish dictatorship of Fredrik Reinfeldt? I guess not. A basic problem here is that what it is good for Sweden, is bad for other countries. One more example ot the double Swedish moral. Sweden hs the same fixation problem with Russia, that being one of the many reasons Russians do not like Carl Bildt at all. But who cares, as long as the "I love you MIckey Mouse" song is sung
20:49 August 9, 2012 by jostein
As we say in sweden, whats in a bag has been in a sack. Trust this Bildt creature at your own peril
21:55 August 9, 2012 by Iraniboy
The State Department continued: However God forbids if Sweden even think about trying to spread democracy in our beloved allies like Saudi Arabia, Israel or Bahrain because we do not meddle in other countries affairs!!!
22:13 August 9, 2012 by ryannewman
HHAHAHA. US - cradle of democracy....

When they stop killing hundredth of thousands of civilians around the world - they might try to open they mouth-thole.
07:51 August 10, 2012 by robban70226
Sweden interfered into other country's internal affairs, Good lesson by throwing away the embassador, An international arrest warrant should be issued to the Studio Total people and Cromwell should be tried in court, He pocket the money in a foolish propaganda, he should pay for it, No bullshit excuses for their behaviour. The end do not justify the ways, Cowards!!! Face the truth!!!
08:14 August 10, 2012 by Lemon1987
...to all supporters of twisted USA foreign "prodemocratic" policy. FECK YOU, YOU FECKING FECKS. Typical brainwashing cause of human rights.
Today's headlines
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

991
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN