Lithuania yesterday joined the UnitedStates in denouncing the Belarusan government’s decision to evict foreignmissions from the Drazdy compound in Minsk (background in the Monitor, June9). Several Western governments also lodged protests, but some of them alsoasked President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to intercede for a “quiet andbusinesslike solution.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a nuanced statement, registeringconcern over the violation of diplomatic conventions, but at the same time”understanding the need for repair of the buildings”–the official rationalefor evicting the missions. Also yesterday the Foreign Ministry of Belarusissued an official “apology for the inconvenience,” but went on to insistthat the missions’ move out of Drazdy must take place on schedule. (AP,Reuter, Itar-Tass, June 9)
The Belarusan government offers alternative locations, deemed unacceptableby the foreign missions. The moving deadline is today. Lukashenka has notyet spoken up. He may well ponder stepping in at the last moment with asolution that would project him as a conciliator, at least for some of themissions affected.
UKRAINE PLANS TO PROVIDE TRANSIT ROUTE FOR CASPIAN OIL.