MINSK, October 12. /TASS/. The Belarussian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret over Washington's demand for closing down the consulate-general in New York.
"The US demand, its direct consequence being a worsening in the conditions for providing consular services to Belarusian citizens, demonstrates in action the real meaning of the American side's repeated statements about 'support for' and 'concern about' the Belarusian people. We regret this decision and ask Belarussian and US citizens to react with understanding to the inconveniences in connection with the need for turning for consular assistance exclusively to the Belarusian embassy in Washington due to circumstances beyond our reasonable control."
The Foreign Ministry said that in connection with the US authorities' demand the consulate-general in New York would have to terminate operation on October 21. The ministry said that Belarus "'within the framework of the available resources and opportunities will exert the maximum efforts for preserving the level of consular services to its citizens in the context of new US restrictions."
The Belarusian consulate-general in New York said on Monday it would terminate operation soon at the demand of the US side.
In the wake of the resumption of US sanctions against Minsk, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry asked the United States to reduce the personnel of its embassy in Minsk to five by September 1. Also, Belarus revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fischer as US ambassador to Belarus. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in September that Minsk had made up its mind regarding a candidate for the position of its ambassador to the US, but saw no reasons for sending the chief of the diplomatic mission to Washington in the current situation.