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Swedish embassy in Belarus receives threat

AFP/The Local · 13 Aug 2012, 06:31

Published: 13 Aug 2012 06:31 GMT+02:00

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"The Swedish embassy has received a threat aimed at Swedes in general in Belarus," the embassy wrote on its webpage.

"Due to recent events, including the expulsion of Sweden's ambassador from Belarus, there is reason for Swedes to be particularly vigilant and exercise caution when travelling to and staying in the country," it said.

Contacted by AFP on Sunday, Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson confirmed the information but would not provide any details about the nature of the threat nor when it was issued.

The website's post was dated August 10, one week after the expulsion of Swedish ambassador Stefan Eriksson, and two days after Minsk announced it was expelling all Swedish diplomats and closing its Stockholm mission.

Stockholm has in return refused to welcome a new ambassador to replace an envoy who left the post several weeks ago, and has withdrawn residency permits for two Belarus diplomats who were asked to leave the Scandinavian country.

The tit-for-tats came after the widely-reported "teddy bear stunt" organised by a Swedish advertising agency last month, when Swedish activists flew a plane over Belarus and dropped hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.

Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko dismissed the country's top border control official and the top air force commander after the incident.

Story continues below…

The KGB security police in Minsk has said it is investigating "the illegal crossing of the state border of Belarus by Sweden nationals in a small airplane" and has summoned three Swedes from the advertising agency to appear for questioning.

"Three of us have been asked to appear before the KGB," Tomas Mazetti, the co-founder of the advertising agency, told AFP on Saturday.

The trio -- Mazetti, Hannah Frey and Per Cromwell -- have yet to decide whether they will travel to Minsk, he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:34 August 13, 2012 by OUIJA
Swedes will pay the penalty. Carl Bildts's arrogancy is far more important that the lives of his countrymen in Belarus. Sweden's right to do in other countries what it would never allow other countries to do here is nothing more and nothing less the contempt it has shown for decades towards other countries. Motto: "What is good for me to do, is bad for others to do to me"

What a jerk!
09:51 August 13, 2012 by robban70226
Time to expell all the tree hugging Sweds from Belarus, teach them a lesson, If they can not stand the heat get out of the kitchen... cowards!!!
11:11 August 13, 2012 by piu-sweden
why not Sweden also pose such threat to the Belarussians in Sweden.

There are surely more of these close minded easterners here than vice versa!!!
11:23 August 13, 2012 by OUIJA
Belarrusians here came to look for a better life. Swedes in Belarus went to help the opposition to finish with Lukashenko. That is quite a differrence.
23:55 August 13, 2012 by Texrusso
It was not a Swedish Military Aircraft that violated Belarus airspace. If some private Swedish activist has done that and got away with it, MINSK should follow legal procedure via court extradition request and not behaving like morons. Just like the the South Africans are doing with the Swedish honeymooner Anni Dewani murder case with the UK government. Why da hell all diplomatic mission needs to be kicked out. MAD president...
12:05 August 16, 2012 by NetFox
So in fact they are either idiots, or they want to put Belarus in the form of stupid. Better would have killed himself against the wall with a running start.
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