• By The Financial District

Belarus Kicks Out French Ambassador: Agence France-Presse

France's ambassador has been ordered out of Belarus and has already left the country, the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, citing the French embassy in Minsk.

Photo Insert: Ambassador Nicolas de Bouillane de Lacoste

It did not say why the ambassador, Nicolas de Bouillane de Lacoste, had been expelled. Belarusian media reported that Minsk had recalled its ambassador to Paris, Igor Fesenko, Sybille de La Hamaide and Vladimir Soldatkin reported for Reuters.

However, the embassy had noted on its website that Lacoste on Wednesday hosted representatives of the recently-banned non-governmental organization Govori Pravdu (Tell the Truth), including its co-leader Andrey Dmitriev, one of last year's presidential candidates.

Belarus's and France's foreign ministries and the French embassy were not immediately available for comment.

Relations between EU member states and Belarus have been at a low ebb since President Alexander Lukashenko last year comfortably won re-election in a poll that the opposition said was rigged, and cracked down on the opposition, detaining all its leading figures or driving them into exile.

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