MOSCOW -- Belarus has decided to expel US ambassador in Minsk over recent sanctions Washington has imposed against the country, said Belarusian Foreign Ministry on Friday.
US Ambassador to Belarus Karen Stewart smiles outside a court building in Minsk in this October 30, 2006 file photo. Belarus has decided to expel US ambassador in Minsk over recent sanctions Washington has imposed against the country. And meanwhile, the US said that its ambassador to Belarus will remain there. [Agencies]
Belarus will make "tough moves" in response to the US sanctions against Belarusian state-controlled oil-processing and chemicals company, Belneftekhim, Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Popov said.
Belarus has demanded on Friday the US ambassador Karen B. Stewart in Minsk leave the country for a consultation, and simultaneously is recalling its own envoy from the United States for the same purpose, Russian news agency Interfax quoted Popov as saying.
"The United States has been notified about these moves in advance," Popov added.
In November 2007, the United States introduced sanctions against Belneftekhim and froze the assets of its US subsidiary, which Belarus said breached a bilateral trade deal, designed to give better access for Belarusian goods and services, as well as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Stewart was nominated by US President George W. Bush to be ambassador to Belarus in July 2006 and presented her credentials to the Belarusian head of state in October of the same year.
Stewart graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in astronomy and economics, and pursued further studies in astronomy at the University of Virginia.