Summoned to leave the country, the French ambassador calls on Belarusians “not to lose hope”

In a one-minute video posted on the French Embassy’s website after his departure, Nicolas de Bouillane de Lacoste announces, the lines drawn: “My wife and I unfortunately have to leave Belarus. “ In post for less than a year in Minsk – appointed by decree in September 2020, he took office in November, four months after the fraudulent re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as head of the country – the French ambassador was summoned by Minsk to leave the territory at the end of an ultimatum which expired Monday, October 18. Having left the night before, the diplomat explains, addressing the Belarusians: “As you know, France did not recognize the result of the August 9, 2020 election and I did not deliver my credentials. “

This specialist in Eastern Europe, ex-first adviser, in particular, at the French embassy in Moscow between 2012 and 2016, adds to have “Spent difficult but unforgettable days here”, before calling his audience “Never to lose hope in better days”. Throughout his message, Nicolas de Lacoste, 57, speaks Belarusian, a language now favored by the opposition to the detriment of Russian, which has remained the official language in this former Soviet republic. This earned him thanks on social networks from opponents and a volley of green wood, bordering on insult, supporters and some media close to the regime.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers When Belarusian becomes the “language of the opposition”

The Ambassador, however, does not give up. While condemning, Monday, the “Unjustified decision” from Minsk and announcing to have taken “Proportionate measures” with regard to the Belarusian diplomatic representation in France – the Ambassador, Igor Fissenko, was “Recalled” in his country -, Paris has once again appointed Nicolas de Lacoste special envoy of France for Belarus. He should operate remotely, in conjunction with a charge d’affaires and the staff of the embassy, ​​maintained at this stage in Minsk. “France, as it has been doing since August 2020, in close connection and in line with the positions defined with its partners in the European Union [UE], will continue to stand alongside the Belarusian people, in support of a lasting political solution to the crisis in Belarus ”, indicated the Quai d’Orsay.

Less than ten EU countries still represented

This sudden tension is not surprising. Like all European countries, France did not recognize the re-election of Alexandre Lukashenko for a sixth term, which is why Mr. de Lacoste was content to present “The figurative copy of these letters” only Belarusian foreign minister. Then, faced with the fierce repression carried out by the regime against the vast protest movement that has spread throughout the country, the European ambassadors had, for a time, left the country, before, for some, returning. Even today, out of the 27 EU member states, less than ten remain. In August, Minsk also withdrew its agreement for the appointment of American Ambassador Julie Fisher, who was confirmed in December 2020 as the first envoy of the United States to this former Soviet republic since 2008.

You have 37.74% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.