Belarus has declared that it has not prolonged the mandate for the OSCE office in Minsk and it will stop its operation on December 31. The three-month terms needed for the technical closing of the mission have expired.
There is no need for the office, press-secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrey Savinykh said in December.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko condemned the OSCE position during the presidential elections on December 19, 2010, when he was re-elected.
The OSCE gave a negative response to the way the elections were held.
OSCE offices were also closed in Latvia, Estonia and Georgia. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that they can work efficiently using direct contacts with OSCE institutions. Such approach was being worked out with the OSCE headquarters for years
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