Teddy bears spark Belarus diplomatic row

Aug. 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

BRUSSELS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- All EU ambassadors may be withdrawn from Belarus in a diplomatic row sparked when teddy bears promoting democracy were airdropped over the country.

As a consequence, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry withdrew its diplomatic staff from Stockholm and ordered the Swedish ambassador to leave, RIA Novosti reported.

A diplomatic source told the news agency the EU's Political and Security Committee could coordinate a withdrawal of all EU ambassadors from the country, where President Alexander Lukashenko is known for violent crackdowns on dissent.

Hundreds of the offending bears were dropped by a Swedish light plane July 4. They bore pro-democracy messages.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted Ambassador Stefan Eriksson had been expelled "for being too supportive of human rights."

Lukashenko has been in power since 1994.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea blasts arrival of U.S. submarine in South Korean port
U.S. lottery lowers portion of cash allocated to jackpot prize
South Korea rescues 5 North Korean sailors
F-16, Cessna planes collide midair in South Carolina, killing two
Colorado court to hear baker's appeal over gay wedding cake