05:16 GMT +318 March 2018
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    Belarus accuses EU, U.S. of political pressure

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    MINSK, August 4 (RIA Novosti)- The Foreign Ministry of Belarus has accused the European Union and the United States of exerting political pressure on it and inciting inter-ethnic discord.

    The ministry released a statement rejecting accusations made by the EU and U.S. that non-governmental organizations were being oppressed in Belarus. "The unilateral and politicized approach of evaluating the situation in Belarus confirms [their] aim to change the independent course of the Belarusian state," the Foreign Ministry said.

    Brussels and Washington had earlier criticized Minsk over the situation surrounding the Belarusian Union of Poles. The government refused to recognize elections to the top posts of this organization, which led to relations between Minsk and Warsaw deteriorating. Six diplomats in all have been expelled in tit for tat moves in the last three months.

    Ukraine and Moldova supported the EU statement, which led to the Ukrainian ambassador and Moldova's representative being summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry over the "unfriendly nature of this step."

    "The European Union, by supporting the unfounded claims to Belarus of a member country, has entered the slippery slope of inciting inter-ethnic discord on its borders," the statement continued.

    The ministry said the Moldovan and Ukrainian diplomats had been informed about the efforts the Belarusian authorities were making to ensure national minorities, including Ukrainians and Moldovans, enjoyed their rights.

    The ministry said the heads of the two diplomatic missions had been summoned in the hope that Moldova and Ukraine would pursue balanced policies in the spirit of friendship and the good neighborly relations that the countries had long enjoyed with Belarus.

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