• 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
Education
Three Swedish unis in world's top 100
One of the buildings at the Karolinska Institute. Photo: TT

Three Swedish unis in world's top 100

Three Swedish universities were ranked among the top 100 in the world in the new Times Higher Education ranking, with another two featured in the top 200. READ  

Politics
Nuclear freeze agreed by new government
A nuclear power station in Forsmark, Sweden. Photo: TT

Nuclear freeze agreed by new government

Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens Party have announced a coalition agreement to halt nuclear energy development. READ  

International
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum

The Migration Court in Malmö has ruled that Sweden's Migration Board was wrong to reject the residence applications of seven Afghan interpreters without assessing their protection needs. READ  

The Local List
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Speak Percussion will perform at Connect in Malmö in November. Photo: Connect

Top five winter festivals in Sweden

Autumn has swept into the country and chilly days lie ahead. But there are plenty of winter festivals where you can warm up in the coming months. With tickets already selling fast, here are The Local's top tips. READ  

Business
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

01 October

Future tense – ska or kommer att? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Karen had a question the following question on that about future tense: Explain when you use “komma att ” and “ska”. I’m running along forever here using “ska” and realize suddenly everyone uses “komma att” this and that all the time! In Swedish there are three different ways to express future tense and they are not..." READ »

 

01 October

Academy-Award Winning Actor Geena Davis on Changing the Way We View Women in Media (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"There are two moments in Geena Davis’s life that molded her into the powerful women’s advocate and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media she is today: living in Sweden and starring in Thelma & Louise. The first part of her personal journey took flight in Sandviken, a small rocky town east of..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
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

866
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