A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (3 October) on the latest developments in Belarus:
The Belarusian leadership has withdrawn the accreditation of foreign media in the country. After weeks of human rights violations and harassment against journalists, this represents another blatant violation of the freedom of the press and freedom of opinion. Independent reporting on the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people and the violent actions of the state authorities is therefore being further restricted on a massive scale. In our view, this alarming development shows once again that Mr Lukashenko clearly no longer has the interests of his people and his country at heart. The threat to reduce the diplomatic presence of a number of foreign missions also fits this picture. Anyone who takes such steps is seeking to ensure that their actions go unobserved.
On 2 October, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that accreditations for foreign media would be withdrawn with immediate effect. German media representatives are also affected by this. In addition, on Friday, 2 October, the Ambassadors from Poland and Lithuania were summoned to the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and instructed to scale back their diplomatic presence. The Belarusian Ambassadors in Vilnius and Warsaw were recalled.