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France claims Belarus forced French ambassador to leave country after forcing him to resign

France claims Belarus forced French ambassador to leave country after forcing him to resign

France said on Monday that its ambassador to Belarus had left the country on the previous day because authorities in Minsk had asked him to leave after he failed to present his credentials to President Alexander Lukashenko. PARIS, Oct 18, France stated that his diplomatic mission to the Belarusian country had been postponed due to his absence from the city on October 18, after his resignation from Mink.

The European Union has refused to recognise Lukashenko's election to a sixth term, and in accordance with the bloc, the French envoy had not submitted his accrditation to Belarus' president more than he year ago.

Anne-Claire Legendre, a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry, said on Monday that Paris had taken "proportional measures" against Belarus following Minsk's decision. She spoke to reporters in an online meeting, where she stated that Minsky' s actions were "reasonably proportionate."

A diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ambassador of Belarus had been asked to leave Paris.

"France... will continue to stand by the Belarusian people and will seek for a solution to the country's crisis," Legendre said.

The ambassador - Nicolas de Lacoste will assume the role of special envoy for Belarus, while his second post at the embassy will take over.

Relations between EU member states and Belarus have been on a downward slope since Lukashenko won re-election in an election the opposition claimed was tampered with last year. The opposition has stepped up to crack down on the government, detaining all of its leading figures or putting them in exile.

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