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Lithuania warns Belarus and summons envoy

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Lithuania warns Belarus and summons envoy
07:30 CEST+02:00
Lithuania summoned the Belarus ambassador Tuesday in protest after Minsk expelled Swedish diplomats in the "teddy bear" row, warning the move could further worsen relations with the European Union.

The row erupted after Swedish activists illegally flew a plane into Belarus from Lithuania last month, dropping hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes bearing signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.

Belarus expelled Swedish diplomats last week and threatened consequences

for Lithuania.

But Lithuania warned Tuesday that Minsk's move would "have an impact on

relations between the EU and Belarus".

Regarding "the recent actions in Belarus, the EU intends to consider restraining political contacts with Belarus," Lithuania's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The European Union on Friday said it would send a "very clear message" to

Minsk but shied away from a mooted mass diplomatic withdrawal.

Lithuania, which joined NATO and the EU in 2004, said it was considering

Belarus' request to investigate an alleged violations of the state border.

Lithuania's move comes soon after the Swedish PR team responsible for the teddy bear drop, Studio Total, ignored a KGB summons from Lukashenko.

In an open letter to the Belarusian published on Tuesday, the Swedes mocked his authority and invited him to come to Sweden instead, demanding that all political prisoners be released.

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