European Union

Teddy Bear Controvery Leads to Reprimand of Belarus

EU governments agree to reprimand Minsk for expelling Swedish ambassador over democracy-promoting stunt.

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Belarus's relations with the West took a turn for the worse on Friday as EU governments agreed to reprimand Minsk for expelling the Swedish ambassador in a row over a pro-democracy stunt involving an air drop of teddy bears on Belarus's territory.

At an emergency meeting in Brussels, senior envoys of European Union states said the dispute, in which Belarus also withdrew its embassy staff from Sweden, would damage the bloc's already strained relations with the government of President Alexander Lukashenko.